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Last Hands On Neighborhoods Event Saturday

Stella Wilson, Lauren Heil-Wilson, Cecilia Wilson and Brooks Landy participate in a Hands On Neighborhoods cleanup event earlier this year in Jamestown. Submitted photo

The last event of the first-year volunteer cleanup program will be held this Saturday in Jamestown.

The seventh Hands On Neighborhoods event will start at 8 a.m. at the former site of the Moose Club, 405 E. Fourth St., Jamestown. Volunteers will clean North Main Street to Winsor Street and Fourth Street to Eighth Street.

Gina Paradis, Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. executive director, said there will be a special reception after the cleanup event to honor the volunteers. She said the pilot program’s first year was a success, which will continue next year in Jamestown and will also start for the first time in Dunkirk.

“I think it went pretty well. I think we learned a lot of things and we have a lot of great ideas for the next time around,” she said.

One lesson learned during the first year is there will be fewer cleanup events in Jamestown next year.

A couple of children participating in the Hands On Neighborhoods program earlier this year in Jamestown. Submitted photo

“It was an aggressive schedule to try and do seven events with our small group,” she said. “We made it work. It was a challenge to find volunteers for all the events.”

Paradis said next year there will be fewer cleanup events, but each will be large and encompass more neighborhoods in the city.

“We’re going to focus on a couple larger events instead of seven small events,” she said. “We’re going to look to engage with groups to volunteer instead of having individual sign-ups. We’re going to put together a tool kit, so if there are neighborhood groups that want to do their own event they will have a tool kit to work with, a checklist to go off of.”

The tool kit and checklist will include a planning guide to detail strategic collaboration to provide ideas for partners people can engage to be involved in the neighborhood cleanup.

“It will include the key components of a successful event,” she said. “(The tool kit) will include the planning and implementation of an event. A timeline for how to do it. We will break it right down for them. If they need a permit, it will tell them where you go. If you want a press release, it will include a template. It will include what stakeholders to consider engaging for the event. It will be a list of resources.”

Paradis said all kinds of groups from churches to student groups to corporations to civic organizations will be encouraged to sponsor a cleanup event.

“Anyone who wants to do some community give back,” she said.

The Hands On Neighborhoods program was developed by the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. in collaboration with the city of Jamestown, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. and Zion Covenant Church.

Program sponsors include Lakeshore Savings Bank and Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, in addition to the Jamestown Tarp Skunks, ERA Real Estate and the Jim Cama family.

Volunteers are encouraged to preregister for an upcoming event by visiting the land bank website at CHQLandbank.org/HandsOn. Walk-in volunteers are also welcome. Details are updated on the website and the Facebook event page.

Donations and sponsorships are needed and appreciated. For more information on how to support the program, contact the land bank at 969-7843.

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