Question: What do used feminine hygiene products, a soiled pair of blue jeans, liquor bottles, and a cell phone have in common?
Answer: All of these items were picked up on the streets of Fort Wayne during our latest volunteer activity.
Yep, you read that right. These are a just a few of the items that we picked up during our volunteer excursion with the Downtown Improvement District. The DID partners with the city of Fort Wayne and a wide-variety of nonprofit, public, and private sector organizations to make downtown Fort Wayne a more attractive place to live, work, shop, and do business. It’s mission is to create a strong, economically vibrant core of Northeast Indiana through beautification efforts, special events, and business development. This week, we witnessed first hand how the DID is impacting our city and those that call it home.
The Downtown Improvement District’s Clean and Green initiative is in place to make, and keep, our city beautiful. Miles and miles of downtown streets and sidewalks are cleaned of debris and litter, landscaped, and general improvement projects are completed. Volunteers join forces with the DID staff once a month to make a difference. They divide and conquer particular segments of the downtown area. We had the opportunity to join this dedicated group on a beautiful Saturday morning.
We split into pairs, grabbed our supplies, and headed out on the Bucket Brigade. Our goal was to pick up litter and trash and pull weeds that were growing in and around sidewalks for a specific area of the city. In about three hours, we filled approximately seven large bags with trash. We cleaned sidewalks, areas along the River Greenway, and spaces around and under the railroad tracks. We were amazed at the number of alcohol and soda bottles, dirty diapers, fast food wrappers, and cigarette butts that lined the grassy areas of our city. Why do people litter? Who throws dirty diapers out the window of a moving car? Why? It is really hard to comprehend. We understand that some of the debris and litter comes from Fort Wayne’s homeless population. However, others are contributing as well. It just doesn’t make sense. We enjoyed our experience with the Clean and Green team. Our eyes were opened to just how difficult it is to keep our city clean.
The Downtown Improvement DIstrict is committed to the development, growth, and sustainability of Fort Wayne. The services that they provide improve the business climate and economic potential of our city. The events that they host are best-in-class, entertaining events. The DID is the definition of city pride. We all can take note. We all can follow the lead. Our family loves this city and we have committed our lives to making it a better place. We ask that you do the same. Volunteer for a DID event. Give time to beautify our city!