Spring in Our Steps

Enhancing community connections in Cincinnati, by reclaiming alleys, sidewalks, and steps for the pedestrian.

In Honor of Earth Day 50, Stepping Up is Easy: A Virtual Cleanup

What day is it? It’s hard to know anymore, in the face of the pandemic response and seemingly austere regimen. Did you know that today marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration? It officially began with the coordination of a nationwide environmental forum by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, in response to a UNESCO conference proposal by peace activist John McConnell to honor Earth. Who would have expected that the air, water, and habitats would suddenly begin healing while we (responsibly) hide away from the contagion?

Cleanup at Peete Alley in 2012

Picking up litter along our busy roadways & trails will enhance our experience to get outside. But it will also discourage the accumulation of more litter. // Pictured: Peete Alley volunteers, 2012

Not everyone can outwardly celebrate Earth Day today, due to our familial needs or employment as essential workers. So we are doing so in our own cloistered ways, save for sharing many of our projects on social media. That’s what we would love to see from you! Spring in Our Steps is excited to see what stairway or alley cleanup projects you can initiate in your own neighborhoods. Leaves and branches have fallen along many hillside jaunts. Long alleys like Hust Alley in Over-the-Rhine and Lindsay Alley in Walnut Hills could use some attention. Our paths have seen increased traffic and more litter. Safely and responsibly, we can match nature’s resurgence by giving back. Litter begets more litter. By removing it from the landscape, we eliminate its magnetism for more mistreatment of our beautiful cities.

Stepping Up Cincy: A Virtual Cleanup
From April 25th to April 30th, post or send us your location of alleys or stairways where you choose to pick up litter or focus other cleanup efforts. Then share your photos by using the hashtag #steppingupcincy, and we’ll feature them in a follow-up post and on our social media outlets. 

Some tips:
1) Be sure to wear gloves for handling any refuse.
2) Hazardous facilities are temporarily closed. If possible, please store any such materials safely until they are accepted again. Batteries should be placed in a clear plastic bag with ends covered with tape, in order to prevent fires. (A list of hazardous household materials can be found here.)
3) Limit your cleanup project to an individual effort or to your own household.
4) 5-gallon buckets can make litter pickup easier. Many of our neighbors have extra ones lying around. Get to know your neighbor!

Storm drain with leaves and trash

Taking on the clearance of a nearby storm drain keeps excess materials and litter from reaching our waterways.

Other ways to give back to your alleys and stairs:

• Report a variety of safety issues–including faulty/missing handrails, fallen trees, dumpsites, or missing signage–at 5916000.com or the Fix-It Cincy app.
• Consider clearing out storm drains or drainage troughs along stairways! This will keep these paths free of excess debris and runoff.

About C. Huelsman

"Stuck in the middle of this, don't know if I'm gonna make it" summarizes my internal composition at most points along my personal timeline. Sometimes, more than a little skin must be shed, in order to ensure resilience toward life's perils and mediocrity. This is where things get good.

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2020 by in Alleys, City Steps, Commentary and tagged , , .
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