ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — After a week’s delay due to poor weather, Rockford’s Neighborhood Improvement initiative got underway on Friday.
The program connects residents with resources to implement plants to improve the environment, and the City says it wants to start in areas impacted by violent crime.
Keith Davis is one of the volunteers doing lawn care work to help improve the look of the city.
“It just feels great. I like when people all come together, you know what I’m saying? And just put in an effort to make everything better? I really do,” he said. “I’m always grateful to come out and volunteer my services to the community, get it cleaned up. I wish everybody would come out on a daily basis and pick up the trash.”
Davis says cleaning the city streets is a way to demonstrate his love for the city of Rockford.
City employees worked along with volunteers on Friday in the neighborhood around Lewis Lemon Elementary School, at 1993 Mulberry Street.
It is one of six blighted neighborhoods chosen for the clean-up effort.
“This is not a ‘one day and done’ thing,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “This is us saying, ‘your neighborhoods (are) critically important to our community.’ I hope these residents come out. We want to build relationships with our residents.”
Physical improvements, like patching potholes, trimming trees, and picking up litter, will be made over time.
Volunteers will also be going door-to-door to let residents know about various resources and services that are available.
“I hope that the community will come together as a whole and we can just get together and we can actually just do this together,” Davis said.
The program will run through September:
Friday, May 20: Area bordered by N. Horsman, Whitman, Woodlawn, and Locust
Friday, June 17: Area bordered by Winnebago, Whitman, N. Court, and Locust
Saturday, July 16: Area bordered by Broadway, Kishwaukee, the railroad tracks, and 8th St
Saturday, August 20: Area bordered by West Middle School, Kenmore Ave, the alley east of Kilburn, and Custer Ave
Friday, September 23: Lincoln and Island Streets from S. Main to Custer