Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Local groups start OTR cleanup

Joint effort keeps grass trimmed

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two Cincinnati groups brought rakes, scythes and garbage bags Tuesday to begin a summer cleanup in Over-the-Rhine.

        About 10 adult organizers and youth volunteers from IMPACT Over the Rhine and Keep Cincinnati Beautiful tackled an open lot in the 1300 block of Walnut Street.

[photo] Volunteers from IMPACT Over-the-Rhine and Keep Cincinnati Beautiful have organized a summer clean-up project of overgrown lots.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        The grass was 4 feet tall, said Ken Toney, executive director of IMPACT.

        “We were able to knock it down to something more presentable,” he said. “I have a couple of blisters but that's OK. It comes with the territory.”

        The groups want to spend the third Tuesday of each month cleaning open lots that have become thick fields of grass, weeds and garbage. Lots on West McMicken Avenue and Logan Street will be tackled next.

        Mr. Toney acknowledges that the lots could become wild again.

        But, “we want to make a difference. Sooner or later, the people causing the problem will value the neighborhood rather than trashing the neighborhood,” he said.

        Over-the-Rhine residents are appreciative.

        “That's good somebody's doing it. It would be a big help. I'm hoping (others) will keep them clean and respect” the property, said Carrie Johnson, president of the Over-the-Rhine Community Council.


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