Saturday, April 5, 2008

Uptown Harrisburg Cleanup

I'd have to say it was a success.

Only I would find it fun to pick up trash on a Saturday morning. Among the fun things I found were condom wrappers (but thankfully, no used condoms), a dime bag that still had pot in it (it's in the garbage now on its way to the incinerator), old political signs from last fall's City Council race, and lots and lots of assorted snack food bags.

One thing I don't get is why toss a drink if you're not going to drink the whole thing? We found lots of those.

One of the women in our group found a dead possibly cat, and an old style answering machine, and a nice 14 carat ring someone lost.

There was a nasty vacant lot that a large group tackled at Jefferson and Oak St. We had our hands full with 6th Street so we didn't head over there but I hear they found a dead skunk, snakes, and other really nasty disgusting trash inhabited by centipedes. City Council members were with them and were apparently outraged this went on. A fence will go up soon. I hope so.

I often wonder if anyone's ever done a study on cities who have privatized their trash services and cities that still have trash pick up. In Southeast PA, we don't pay a private service to pick up our trash, at least not in Upper Darby. Trash fees are something I'll have to be aware of as I househunt. It seems a rather foreign idea to me, to be honest. I'm willing to bet Upper Darby, despite it having about 40,000 more people then Harrisburg, is probably a little cleaner and has few dumping sites.

Uptown is a neighborhood that has just been ignored for too long. Yet there were still blocks that were nice and clean, with well kept houses. The people in them may not be rich, but they clearly have pride in their homes and are grateful if anyone comes into their neighborhood to clean it up. One group encountered a man who was so grateful that anyone would come out to his neighborhood that has been derided and ignored by the rest of Central Pennsylvania that he gave the group some money.

Things don't just fix themselves by magic. They require people to be willing to help out.

At any rate it was a great use of a Saturday morning, and I'll be doing it again on April 26th in the non-gentrified part of Midtown (east of Third St.)

No comments: