Streetscape program to clean up downtown, surrounding areas June 2


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

When Youngstown CityScape started its Streetscape beautification program in 1998, there wasn’t much downtown besides a few businesses.

“We were planting flowers and making it beautiful with not that many people,” said Sharon Letson, CityScape executive director. “Now with restaurants and the Covelli Centre and the upcoming amphitheater, our issues are a little different. Now we have people that are downtown enjoying our downtown. We have some different issues we need to address.”

The first Streetscape program in 1998 had about two dozen volunteers cleaning up a small section of downtown.

The program has grown to include many parts of downtown as well as other parts of the city with more than 800 volunteers, Letson said.

Youngstown CityScape kicked off its 21st annual Streetscape beautification program’s fundraising efforts Thursday with a breakfast at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica.

CityScape usually raises about $50,000 annually for the Streetscape program, Letson said.

Volunteers will beautify and clean up downtown and surrounding areas from 9 a.m. to noon June 2. The rain date is 9 a.m. to noon June 3.

Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up by downloading a form on the organization’s website – www.cityscape.com – and email it to CityScape at info@youngtowncityscape.com or by calling 330-742-4040.

Streetscape “is a great opportunity to showcase downtown,” said Mayor Jamael Tito Brown. “It helps when we’re attracting businesses and people to downtown. It’s been very beneficial to the city.”

Focus areas are Central Square, West and East Federal streets, John Young Memorial, South Avenue Bridge Police Memorial, Mahoning Commons, B&O Station, Choffin hillside, city hall, Youngstown State University bridge overpasses, Wick Park, Harrison Common Park and Smoky Hollow Veterans Memorial.

Project partners are the city, YSU, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program, YSUScape, Community Corrections Association, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, Men’s Garden Club of Youngstown, St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, Fifth Avenue Boulevard Neighbors, Crandall Park South Neighbors, 7th Ward Citizens Coalition, Garden District Neighborhood Association, Rocky Ridge Neighbors, Mahoning Commons Association and the Wick Park Neighborhood Association.

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