Saturday was our yearly neighborhood cleanup day. Although I have only lived in this neighborhood for three years; I have found this day to be a highlight of the year.
A week prior, fliers were sent around the neighborhood announcing the date for the neighborhood cleanup. Everyone seems to know that this means that if there is any yard waste or any other large item that needs to be taken to the dump, it is put out on the street. It also means that at 8:00 Saturday morning neighbors gather at the church parking lot (where two big dumpsters have already been delivered) and the coordinator reads off what needs to be done at different homes (usually of widows and the elderly but could be anyone who needs help). Those who have the right equipment go to the specific yards to take care of those needs. Others drive around with big trucks and pick up items put out on the street and also clean up the yard waste put on the streets. (This really helped me too because of all my rose bush trimmings that they hauled away for me.) Since I am a pruner, I went to a yard that had trees and bushes that needed pruning. There were several others who also came to the same yard who cleaned up flower beds and removed Siberian Elm (sometimes called Chinese Elm) roots. The Siberian Elm is very invasive in our area and had taken over part of this yard. After several hours the men and teenage boys triumphantly declared victory over the roots. We then gathered back together at the church Bowery and had pizza. Everyone seemed happy but very tired after the day was over. Over seventy people spent a lot of time and effort on Saturday, reminding me why I love living in this neighborhood with so many great people who know that a neighborhood is worth the investment.