Love Your Block on April 20

Special to the Patriot-Bridge

Love Your Block is a Citywide community service event comes to Charlestown on this Saturday, April 20. The Office of Civic Organizing OOCO) invite community members to lead in hosting a neighborhood cleanup or joining a cleanup as an individual volunteer. Love Your Block neighborhood beautification projects include cleaning up trash on sidewalks and streets, park revitalization, and flower planting. The Love Your Block application is open for volunteers to sign up to become a host or join a neighborhood cleanup.  City officials will connect individuals with a cleanup site in their neighborhood once all sites are finalized.

“Love your Block cleanups are a perfect way to enjoy the upcoming spring weather while helping your local community look vibrant and clean,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “The City is proud to help supply the tools to host group cleanups and assist individuals in finding a Love Your Block volunteer opportunity near them.”

Cleanups will take place in every neighborhood of Boston over the course of three weekends. This weekend the local neighborhoods include:

Charlestown, East Boston, North End/West End/Wharf District, Chinatown/Downtown/Leather District, South End/Bay Village

The Love Your Block program was first created in 2015 with a three-year grant awarded to the City of Boston by Cities of Service. After the grant’s expiration in 2018, Love Your Block became a permanent City program under the Mayor’s Office of Civic Organizing (within the Community Engagement Cabinet). This year, OCO will partner with Boston Public Library and Boston Centers for Youth and Families who will serve as host sites for community members to pick up and drop off cleanup tools. All sites are listed on the Love Your Block sign up form. Tool collection is scheduled from 9:00 -10:00 a.m., with returns to the same location between 12 – 2 p.m.

“Having served as East Boston’s liaison, I’ve seen the transformative power of this initiative firsthand,” said Director of Civic Organizing Nathalia Benitez-Perez. “Love Your Block empowers residents to take charge of their community’s well-being through collective action and beautification efforts. I’m thrilled to carry forward this tradition of fostering empowerment and unity.”

In past Love Your Block cleanups, neighborhood groups have picked up litter from streets and sidewalks, beautified local parks, cleaned up vacant lots, urban wilds, and more. For tips on how to plan and host a cleanup in your neighborhood, OCO has created a helpful guide.

“In 2022, fourteen volunteers from Prospect Hill and Mt. Hope neighborhoods of Roslindale turned out to clean up the pedestrian walkways of the Blakemore Street Bridge,” said Friends of Blakemore Bridge Co-Founder Meri Bond. “By the end of the day not only had they removed the leaves, litter, bottles and nips that had been accumulating along the Bridge for years, they had enjoyed meeting one another and working together for a common purpose.” 

“Love Your Block is an event that I look forward to the Mayor’s Office of Civic Organizing leading every year,” said Brianna Millor, Chief of the Community Engagement Cabinet. “This is an effort for our Cabinet alongside Boston residents, community leaders, and volunteers to beautify every Boston neighborhood together. I look forward to seeing everyone in April to keep our neighborhoods clean.”

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