Cleaning up the community

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
On March 26, dozens of community volunteers teamed up with members of the North Hilltop Neighborhood Association to participate in the first litter cleanup event sponsored by the local organization. According to Thomas Chahine, the executive director of the association, the intention is to host a traveling cleanup event across the northern section of the westside every two weeks as a part of their overall mission to improve the lives of those who live in the community. Volunteers interested in joining the cleanup efforts can find more information at or via email at
Christine Cockley and her partner, Simon Dallas, get to work cleaning up the litter tangled in the brush in the alleyway off Steele Avenue. The couple often volunteer at cleanup events around the city and even go out around their own neighborhood picking up debris in yards and gutters on a weekly basis. Cockley said although the cleanup efforts can be unpleasant at times, they like to make it a fun competition to see who can pick up the most trash.
John Lape picks up the litter found at the base of this tree.
Zach Gwin, a senior assistant city attorney, places another bag full of trash near the designated pickup location. The cleanup volunteers filled more than 30 bags of trash throughout the two hour beautification effort.
Lisa Boggs, the founder of the South Central Hilltop Spring Cleanup, tries to figure out the best way to keep this shredded piece of rubber mat rolled up in the trash bag.
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