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Local cleanup effort sweeps up litter

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By PHILIP SAYBLACK
Staff Writer

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Local residents recently made a clean sweep of three neighborhoods during a special community event.

That is the thought of Jabaris Walker about the results of an Aug. 26 cleanup of Hillsdale Park and the Weeks Armstrong and Holly Street neighborhoods. Walker, who is known for organizing recent Project Diamond in the Rough community forums, organized last weekend’s beautification project. He said Thursday that more than 20 people, including at least one local law enforcement officer, participated in the cleanup effort.

Walker said more than 30 bags of trash were collected over the course of the cleanup, which started at 7 a.m. and ran until almost noon. He said turnout for the cleanup started slow at first but quickly increased as the morning progressed.

Walker said that the event’s attendance and results were encouraging.

“It made me feel good,” Walker said. “I went to bed knowing I made a difference.”

Walker said in a previous interview that the effort’s inspiration came after a jog through the areas that were cleaned.

“I was running through the neighborhoods back in July and thought these areas really need to be cleaned up,” Walker said. “We were going to do the cleanup Aug. 12, but it got rained out, so we moved it to Aug. 26.”

Walker added that many of the trash bags used for the cleanup were provided by the city of Rocky Mount and thanked the city for its contribution to the effort. He stressed the cleanup was aimed not only at cleaning up the neighborhoods but also to build bonds in the community.

Walker said the success of last weekend’s cleanup effort led him to change his mind on whether or not he should organize another cleanup. He said he is now in the early stages of planning for another cleanup this month in the Happy Hill neighborhood and possibly another local neighborhood.

A specific date has not yet been planned for the event, he said, adding he thinks the cleanup should happen “in a few weeks.”

Information about the next cleanup will be released through social media, Walker said.

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