FNA looks into a sidewalk cleaning program

“We’re excited that PTSSD is such a good supporter of the FNA,” King said. Frankford Ave, the river, and York Street are expected to be the boundaries of the sidewalk cleaning.

Thursday night’s FNA Beautification Committee meeting

The Fishtown Neighbors Association held its February Beautification Committee Meeting Thursday night at the Fishtown Recreation Center, where the committee’s chair, Monica King, discussed various topics, including a sidewalk cleaning grant with Fishtown residents.

“There’s so much excitement around this issue and everyone’s been talking about how dirty our streets are and how little the city’s doing to clean it,” King told the Star. “We think this is a really good solution. Every time we say the words ‘street cleaning,’ people are applauding.”

King said the FNA is still in the process of getting quotes from different companies about costs, but she’s optimistic that a six-month pilot will begin in July and go until the very end of the year.

King said the FNA will likely approach the Penn Treaty Special Services District (PTSSD) for a grant to fund the cleaning.

“We’re excited that PTSSD is such a good supporter of the FNA,” King said.

Frankford Ave, the river, and York Street are expected to be the boundaries of the sidewalk cleaning.

“We won’t be including Frankford Ave and E Girard Ave because NKCDC and Fishtown Co are planning to do sidewalk cleaning on those commercial corridors,” King said, “We want to fill in the gap by cleaning the residential streets.”

King also mentioned the Fishtown Flower Power Contest, which is a soon-to-be-officially-announced competition that encourages people to decorate the fronts of their houses to win prizes. The FNA plans to start promoting the competition in April when the weather gets nicer and people begin to start planting flowers outside.

“It’s a way to get residents excited about decorating the front of their house,” King said. According to King, residents will likely get to vote on which houses have the best looking facades after a tour of participating houses is given. The vote likely won’t happen until late July or early August.

Lastly on the night’s agenda was Cleanupalooza, an event scheduled to happen the morning of April 27. Cleanupalooza will recruit volunteers to clean up the vacant lot at 441 Moyer Street and in addition to having residents help clean the lot, the event will focus on about the positive impacts of cleaning and greening of public spaces on safety and health.

“Mounting evidence has revealed the connection between greening neighborhood lots and increased safety,” the FNA’s description of the event reads. “Research has found that cleaning and maintaining vacant lots help reduce crimes such as gun assaults, burglaries, and vandalism. Improving the look of vacant lots also have public health benefits including reduced stress, lowered heart rate, increased exercise, and lower rates of depression. Our Cleanupalooza event will include an educational trivia game to shed light on these positive effects of beautifying public spaces.”

The FNA is also interested in building a coalition of neighbors interested in improving the lot. For more information about getting involved with Cleanupalooza or the sidewalk cleaning plan, reach out to King at beautification@fishtown.org. The next FNA Beautification Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fishtown Recreation Center.