YOUNGSTOWN Volunteer groups team up for beautification projects
Streetscape was a natural for involving Youngstown 2010 volunteers.
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- City residents help clean up downtown. Downtown workers help clean up city neighborhoods.
It's a simple, but important, cooperative effort that hasn't materialized -- until now.
Streetscape, the all-volunteer downtown improvement group, will announce today details of its sixth annual landscaping of Federal Plaza. This year, however, downtown workers won't be alone.
Organizers of the Youngstown 2010 plan want their volunteers to join Streetscape's May 31 event. In return, Streetscape volunteers will be available to help city neighborhood groups with cleanups this spring and summer.
"Hopefully this is an example of how to mold community projects," said Scott Schulick, Streetscape's chairman.
Streetscape and the city will share their mailing lists. That way, volunteers to both will know how to help the other group.
The hope is that the cooperation will produce bigger results than if the two groups worked only on their own, Schulick said.
"Maybe it will spawn some neighborhood Streetscape groups," he said.
Youngstown officials were looking for a spring event to bring together Youngstown 2010 volunteers for the first time, said Anthony Kobak, the city's chief planner.
Hundreds of people volunteered after the city unveiled the 2010 vision for the future in December. Working groups made up of those volunteers will be formed soon to turn the 2010 vision into reality.
The city wanted to have a community event in the meantime, however, such as a neighborhood cleanup, Kobak said. A main theme of 2010 is cleaning up the city and its image.
Cooperating with Streetscape became a natural.
Kobak hopes 100 or so of the many 2010 volunteers join the downtown effort.
"I hope people are really excited about doing something about Youngstown 2010," he said.
Streetscape volunteers will plant flowers and shrubs, and mulch and weed the planters on Federal Plaza from 8 to 11 a.m. on May 31.
Their goal is to raise $20,000 and draw 250 volunteers.
The group has raised $170,000 since 1998, mostly from corporate sources.
Streetscape also will undertake two projects this year in addition to its regular work on the plaza:
*A contractor and Choffin Career Centers students have been commissioned to landscape and create terraces on the hillside below Choffin, between Wood and Commerce streets.
*Volunteers will renovate the war memorial in Smoky Hollow in time for Memorial Day.