Auburn Gresham's Clean & Green Environmental Activities

Auburn Gresham Civic and Community Stakeholders to include Alderman Latasha Thomas (D-17), students from Simeon Career Academy, Perspectives Charter Schools, Betty Shabazz School and members of Cleanslate join GADC in the annual Earth Day environmental clean-up at Auburn Park.

Ernest Sanders

If you guessed, Clean and Green block club activities in at least 40 blocks in the 17th Ward or Earth Day at the Winneconna Parkways of Auburn Park, then you are correct! This magnificent day brought out the best of students, teachers, residents, and community leaders to clean this historic park and lake.  

Hosted by the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC), the students raked leaves, picked-up trash, swept sidewalks and driveways, filled garbage bags, and spread mulch around trees. The City of Chicago provided the rakes, brooms, shovels, garbage & recycling bags, and mulch for the students to perform these task.

Carlos Nelson, Executive Director of GADC looks out to the masses of Earth Day volunteers as he stands with a Litter Free Zone sign in hand.

Ernest Sanders

GADC provided lime green safety vests and work gloves (donated by the Dan Ryan Home Depotand Magid Glove and Safety—2060 N. Kolmar), ice cold water and healthy snacks.Local businesses, Dunkin' Donuts and White Castle provided a quick breakfast of 8 dozen donuts and 100 hamburgers for lunch and former Auburn Gresham resident, Nicole Jones, brought coffee and donuts for the teachers and community leaders. 

Earth Day was also the official launch of GADC’s Litter Free Zone Initiative (LFZI).

Student ambassadors from Simeon, Oglesby Elementary, and Perspectives will go door to door in the Auburn Gresham community distributing blue recycle bags and picking up recyclables to.Cleanslate, a partner with GADC in litter prevention, will help sustain this project. 

Everyone assembled at Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church for prayer by and received their instructions and pep talks from Alderman Latasha Thomas (D-17), Carlos Nelson (Executive Director of GADC), and Linda Johnson (Project & Business Manager of GADC).

There were many unique treasurers found while cleaning the beautiful area around the Winneconna lagoon including the culmination of the three schools coming together for a worthy cause.

This is proof that our youth can be productive and offer a viable, healthy lifestyle and respect to the neighborhoods that they live and frequent. 

Partners in this community clean up were Cleanslate, 006th District Chicago Police Department and C.A.P.S., Neighborhood Housing Services of Auburn Gresham/Englewood, GADC staff and board member, residents, community activists and business owners, teachers and staff from Betty Shabazz, Simeon, and Perspectives schools, and the eager and willing students.

Auburn Gresham students and community volunteers rake leafs and place into a recyclable blue bag.

Ernest Sanders

At the end of the day, the students collected 36 bags of trash and 17 bags of recyclables. Each bag weighed an estimated 25-30 pounds which is equivalent to nearly a ton of trash being removed from the neighborhood. 

Special thanks to GADC Staff, especially Linda Johnson, Saint Turner, and Hubert Newkirk, Mt. Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, Alderman Latasha Thomas, Constance Daniels and Ruth Booze (Winneconna Lakes Improvement Association), Neighborhood Housing Services of AGE, Nicole Jones of Sensual Steps, 6th District Chicago Police Dept, Chicago of Chicago Streets and Sanitation, Department of Forestry.