Leader Blues

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

TOP STORY >>Sunnyside up with cleanup set Saturday

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

“Bring anything that cuts, trims or prunes,” says Alderman Kevin McCleary, “and be at Galloway Park at 8 a.m. Saturday.”
McCleary is spearheading a Sunnyside Addition cleanup that is a combined project of Keep Jacksonville Beautiful and the Jack-sonville Community Grant Program.

The Sunnyside cleanup is this year’s kickoff for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful campaign.

“We will focus on at least 20 properties in the area, but we plan to clean up, pick up, trim and cut anything that needs it,” McCleary said. McCleary hopes volunteers will come from all parts of the city too, not just Sunnyside.

“I want the whole city to put their arms around this project,” he said. “This time Sunnyside needs our help, next time it might be another part of the city,” McCleary added.

As an enticement, McCleary said all volunteers will get a free lunch at the end of the work session, about noon, at Evangelistic Ministries at 101 N. Elm.

“Well you know it’s not really a free lunch. All the volunteers will have worked up a couple of hours worth of appetite before getting over there,” McCleary said.

Alderman Bill Howard, who remembers when Sunnyside was the center of activity for Jacksonville, hopes the cleanup drive helps put pride back into the area.

Alderman Bob Stroud is also hoping the cleanup will take a bite out of crime.

“Police tells us that the overgrowth of shrubbery makes it difficult for them to see what is going on. We trim the bushes back and that will help the police and the neighborhood,” Stroud said.

When Stroud and McCleary went through Sunnyside delivering fliers about the cleanup, Stroud said he noticed just a lot of litter. “Old tires and general trash that we can pick up on Saturday and make the area look better,” he said.

The city will be placing dumpsters in the area Saturday and the Public Works Department will have trucks out picking up large items.

“We are hoping for a good turnout of volunteers,” Howard added. “And a good cleanup.”

Along with Saturday’s cleanup efforts, the Main Street overpass that leads into the Sunnyside area will be dedicated in honor of the late Alderman Robert Lewis at 6 p.m. Thursday. Lewis, a Sunnyside resident, who served on the council for over 20 years, died in 2005 after a long battle with cancer.