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Collaborative Effort To Clean Up City Starts Saturday

The Hands On Jamestown program has been expanded.

From 8 a.m. to Noon Saturday, the first of seven planned clean up efforts throughout the city will be held from North Main to Washington streets and Sixth to 11th streets. People will be able to register Saturday at Dow Park and at the Gazebo on 10th Street. Preregistration is encouraged by visiting CHQlandbank.org/handson, and volunteers can register for one or more of the event dates.

The new program is being called “Hands On Neighborhoods,” a collaborative program of public, private and nonprofit that includes the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp., city of Jamestown, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. and Zion Covenant Church The clean up program is one component of a multi-faceted program under development by the county Land Bank. Program sponsors include Lakeshore Savings Bank and the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, and Saturday’s event sponsors include the Jamestown Tarp Skunks and ERA Real Estate and the Jim Cama family.

“We really hope that residents of the neighborhoods will come out with us to help clean up the streets, and talk with us about their hopes and concerns for their blocks” said Gina Paradis, county Land Bank executive director. “Our intention is to be present with them, build a sense of community, share resources and empower them to work together to strengthen their neighborhoods.”

Volunteers will be provided T-shirts, masks and gloves. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own rakes or brooms, but tools will be lent to those who don’t have any. An information table will be hosted to share program and resource information to residents on various homeownership, healthy housing and community health topics.

“Wiffy,” the mascot for the Jamestown Tarp Skunks will be making an appearance, and city and county Land Bank representatives will be on hand to answer resident questions and share information.

“We are extremely grateful for the participation of members of the Zion Covenant Church, Jamestown Renaissance Corp., the city’s Development Department, Parks Department, (Jamestown) Police department, (Jamestown) Fire Department, (Public Works Department), the Jamestown City Council members and (Jamestown Board of Public Utilities,” Paradis said.

Donations and sponsorships are needed and appreciated. More information on how to support the program can be found online at CHQlandbank.org/handson.

The next clean up will happening May 22 in the downtown Jamestown business district, which will replicating the Hands On Jamestown events of years past. Volunteers are encouraged to register early to help the organizers plan appropriately.

“This is an awesome way for members of our community to unite around the new vision for our city, to make a positive impact, and show our visitors the pride we have in Jamestown,” said Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist.

Crystal Surdyk, city development director, said, “Our vision for the program is to host events where the community can come together and learn how to leverage resources to enhance the livability of their neighborhoods. We will use the events this year to develop a tool kit with the (county) Land Bank, for residents who want to host their own events in the future, providing them with planning materials, checklists, supply resources, safety guidelines, forms, etc. Next year, we will build out the program to incorporate more neighborhoods, and the (county) Land Bank will expand the program to other areas of the county.”

Future components of the program will include neighborhood safety workshops and, eventually, a mobile tool lending library. Paradis reinforced the hope that the Hands On Neighborhoods program will become an impactful program to promote community empowerment and a spirit of cooperation and goodwill through out the county. For more information, or to volunteer, on the county Land Bank, visit their web site or Facebook page.

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