Kings Highway gets royal treatment from cleanup volunteers
The sidewalks and curbs along Kings Highway have a whole new look these days, thanks to a group of local students who took part in a recent community cleanup day organized by a local lawmaker.
Assemblymember William Colton, a Democrat who represents portions of Gravesend and Bensonhurst, and his community relations director, Nancy Tong, who is also the female Democratic district leader in the 47th Assembly District, asked high school and college students to spend a day helping them sweep away litter and clean catch basins on Kings Highway between Bay Parkway and McDonald Avenue.
Colton, Tong and Charles Ragusa, male Democratic district leader in the 47th District, have been organizing community litter sweeps called “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” events, for eight years.
The neighborhood spruce-up efforts take place several times a year. The target areas have included Bay Parkway, 86th Street and 18th Avenue.
Councilmember Mark Treyger, a Democrat who also represents Gravesend and Bensonhurst, as well as Coney Island, Bath Beach and Sea Gate, and Priscilla Consolo, a Gravesend civic leader, also helped to get the “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” program off the ground.
The idea is to sweep the sidewalks and then encourage homeowners to keep the sidewalks clean from then on, according to Colton.
The volunteers hand out fliers to residents detailing the importance of keeping public spaces clean. The fliers, which are printed in multiple languages, inform residents about city rules on litter and household trash.
“Cleaner streets mean a better quality of life for all residents and business owners in the area,” Colton said.
The cleanups are conducted partially to augment city sanitation services, according to Colton, who said the Department of Sanitation can’t be everywhere at once.
“Often the Department of Sanitation and local business owners are on tight budgets and unable to provide the necessary personnel to properly clean all of the catch basins and sidewalks,” Colton said.
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