Raking and Scraping: Annual Fall Clean-up Day on the Hill!
Neighbors got together Saturday morning to help make the Hill a cleaner place.
Volunteers were posted outside the Charles Street Supply Co. and the Phillips Street Play Area early Saturday morning to hand out rakes, gloves, bags and brooms to residents looking to clean up the Hill.
"The city drops off the supplies and then comes back and picks them up at noon," said Keeta Gilmore, a Beacon Hill Civic Association board member stationed outside Charles Street Supply Co. "But we get to keep the gloves!" she added.
The civic association gets between 20 and 50 volunteers each year to walk from street to street, raking leaves and picking up debris. A group of students from Suffolk University also participates. In addition, many residents help out by sweeping and cleaning outside their own homes.
Alex Aho, an engineer who lives on Joy St., volunteered to come out and clean around the whole neighborhood.
"I had a free morning and I thought it was a good thing to do. You can commit whatever amount of time you want and you don't have to dress up," said Aho who was raking leaves up on West Cedar St.
"I actually like falling leaves," he said, "but then it'll snow and they're like cemented to the ground so this is a good time to do it," he said.
Ross Levanto, a civic association board member and the vice president of neighborhood affairs, has been organizing the clean-up for the past 10 years. The civic association hosts two clean-ups a year -- once in the fall and once in the spring.
What kind of stuff do the volunteers pick up?
"The better question is what type of stuff do we not pick up," said Levanto. "A few years back we actually had a contest to see who could pick up the most unusual piece of refuse. I believe the person who won found a beat-up old bra."
Levanto said the event is driven in part by the concerns of residents. "Surveys... show that cleanliness remains a top concern for neighbors," he said.
"I think neighbors enjoy doing their part, even if it's cleaning up the area in front of their homes," Levanto added.
A much larger group of about 400 people gathered on the Esplanade at the same time to help clean up the leaves there.