Hands On Jamestown Annual Clean Sweep Begins

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Enthusiastic community volunteers enjoying fresh air, friends and beautifying their city for Hands On Jamestown.
Enthusiastic community volunteers enjoying fresh air, friends and beautifying their city for Hands On Jamestown.
Enthusiastic community volunteers enjoying fresh air, friends and beautifying their city for Hands On Jamestown.

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

“Hands On Jamestown this year is even bigger than our downtown,” Edwin Rodriguez Jr. said. “Neighborhoods all around town are getting involved, too.” Rodriguez is events and marketing associate for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC). “Volunteers are encouraged to consider clean-up and beautification projects where they live, as well as in our downtown, in coordination with JRC’s Renaissance Block Challenge.

Hands On Jamestown is set to make a clean sweep of the whole community Saturday, May 21, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with complimentary donuts, coffee and water for the kick off at City Hall from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. Check-in the morning of the event, however, is not mandatory.

Members of the local Jamestown Young Professionals group are shown cleaning a flower planter at Winter Garden Plaza during last year's Hands On Jamestown.
Members of the local Jamestown Young Professionals group are shown cleaning a flower planter at Winter Garden Plaza during last year’s Hands On Jamestown.

Join the Team
Every year, hundreds of volunteers – nearly 800 last year – come together from all over the greater Jamestown region for Hands On Jamestown. The popular event is a community-wide effort to clean up and beautify Jamestown’s streets. Volunteers will assist the City of Jamestown Parks Department with flower planting, litter collection, raking, sweeping and other clean-up activities.

Pick a Posse or Make Your Own
“We made registration for Hands On Jamestown even easier this year,” Rodriguez said. “Any individuals, families, or groups can visit the Jamestown Renaissance Center’s website to see where other volunteers are already planning to work and sign up to join them or pick a different area. It can even be their own neighborhood, anywhere in town,” Rodriguez added.

Scout troops, clubs and church groups or families may have an area of special interest or concern to them,” Rodrigues said, “and that’s where they can do the most good. Families can pick kid-friendly locations away from traffic or in one of the community parks or near play grounds or school grounds, which, by the way, are among our special targets.”

New Map
Volunteers can visit the Hands On Jamestown website and see a new, interactive map to pick a spot they like. The map is updated daily so they can choose a clean-up area that is right for them. They can also simply come on downtown on Saturday morning, check in with event organizers, grab a coffee and a donut, rubber gloves and garbage bags. Volunteers are encouraged, however, to bring their own hand tools and cloth gloves the day of the event if they can because resources may be limited, depending on the number of volunteers.

As of two weeks before this popular yearly event, more than 300 volunteers had already signed up for the 2016 Hands On Jamestown. Volunteers are asked to wear green t-shirts, sweatshirts, or jackets to stand out to motorists. In support of conservation goals, volunteers are encouraged to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” by wearing previous year’s Hands On Jamestown t-shirts if they are among the many Hands On Jamestown veterans who will be back.

Special Targets
Event organizers have identified certain areas in need of special attention each year including: Second Street between Foote Avenue and Buffalo Street, Washington Street between Fluvanna Avenue and the Washington Street Bridge, Foote Avenue between Main Street and the Tops Markets Plaza, city parks, school perimeters, main gateways into the city, the I-86 entrance and playgrounds.

A Clean Sweep
Litter collection is, of course, the easiest and certainly the most noticeable target, but volunteers can also pick up fallen branches and leaves, sweep sidewalks and curbs or help with other community projects around the city.

Garbage and brush collected during Hands On Jamestown can be placed curbside downtown by 12:00 p.m. for pick up or it can be put out with weekly trash collection at home.

In previous years, multiple tons winter debris, escaped trash and truckloads of clean-up bags have been carted away leaving a cleaner, more beautiful city in their wake to greet springtime, summertime tourists and local vacationers.

For more information on Hands On Jamestown, to see the interactive map and to register for the event, please visit www.jamestownrenaissance.org/handsonjamestown or call 664-2477 ext 226.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation at 119-121 West Third Street in Jamestown, New York is a public-private partnership supporting downtown and neighborhood revitalization through stakeholder engagement, innovation, and reinvestment in the greater Jamestown, New York, area.

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.