Volunteers Brave the Elements for Great American Cleanup New York City Volunteer Day

Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington joined Friends of Hudson River Park Executive Director Gregory Boroff, Citizens Committee for New York City CEO Peter Kostmayer, representatives from the New York City Department of Sanitation, and Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Jennifer Jehn for a rainy but productive Great American Cleanup New York City Volunteer Day in the Chelsea section of Hudson River Park.

The Lowe's of Chelsea Store Manager Duane Michem brought out a strong contingent of Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers from his store as well as from other Lowe's stores in New York. Volunteers from American Express and Dickinson Brands joined staff members from Keep America Beautiful and its local affiliate, Keep New York City Beautiful, Citizens Committee for New York City and Friends of Hudson River Park to green up the park by pulling weeds, removing invasive plants and raking leaves, among other activities to improve and beautify the Chelsea section of the park.

This initiative was part of Keep America Beautiful’s 2016 Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program. Lowe’s is a longstanding national sponsor of Keep America Beautiful and the Great American Cleanup, with hundreds of employee volunteers participating in events throughout the country this year.

In addition to the Great American Cleanup New York City Volunteer Day, a Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant will support nine different community projects throughout the city. Leveraging Citizens Committee for New York City’s unique combination of micro-grants, project planning assistance, and skills-building workshops, the groups supported by the Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partner Grants are painting murals, creating living classrooms, providing much-needed maintenance to parks and other public community gathering areas, and much more, in neighborhoods throughout all five boroughs.

Project snapshots include:

  • 5th Avenue Bay Ridge Storefront Art Walk (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn): 5th Avenue Bay Ridge Storefront Art Walk is creating a public art installation in its neighborhood's Business Improvement District.
  • Artists Unite (Washington Heights, Manhattan): Artists Unite is choosing works by local artists and installing art exhibits in six subway elevators, which will be seen by tens of thousands of subway riders, including residents, non-residents, and tourists.
  • East Bronx Academy (Crotona, Bronx): East Bronx Academy for the Future is beautifying several parks in the neighborhood and working with local community gardens to train volunteers on how to get involved with park maintenance and upkeep.
  • I Love My Hood (Washington Heights, Manhattan): I Love My Hood is working with local youth to create a neighborhood-themed mural to beautify its communal space. Local youth will design, plan, and paint the murals.
  • P.S. 13 Margaret Lindemeyer School (Rosebank, Staten Island): P.S. 13 is transforming its lawn space into a food-producing teaching garden and improving its learning atrium by planting perennials and refurbishing benches.
  • P.S. 186Q The Castlewood School (Glen Oaks/Bellerose, Queens):  PS 186Q is creating a service garden in an unused plot of land at the school. By partnering with the manager of a nearby farm, the group is creating a vegetable garden which will be tended to by students throughout the year.
  • P.S. 317 Waterside Children's Studio School (Rockaway Park, Queens): P.S. 317 is transforming neglected space in front of the school into a community garden. Students and teachers are building raised vegetable and flower beds, and integrating the garden into their curriculum.
  • Parkside Plaza Committee (Flatbush/Prospect/Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn): Parkside Plaza Committee is building on the successful establishment of a public plaza in 2015 by maintaining the transformed space with regular cleanups, and cultural and educational programming.
  • Sprout Farms (Williamsburg/Bushwick, Brooklyn): Sprout Farms is building a multi-functional outdoor classroom and constructing additional raised beds for the garden. In addition to the outdoor classroom, the group is creating an after-school cooking club where participants will use food grown in the garden to create healthy recipes.