The City of Tallahassee holds annual Southside Big Clean

Courtesy of Diamond Jones

The City of Tallahassee held the annual Southside Big Clean event for the community Feb. 27. The event started at 7:30 a.m at the Jack McLean Community Center on Paul Russell Road.

The event kicked off with a rally and a grab-and-go breakfast.  The Capital Area Neighborhood Network Initiative (CANN) and Keep Tallahassee –Leon County Beautiful (KLTCB) hosted the Southside Spring Cleaning.

Participants in the Southside Big Clean where divide into groups to work in the selected neighborhoods.  

Some of the jobs included collecting and disposing of litter and non-working appliances. Other projects included cleaning neighborhood entrances, planting gardens around the community and along roadways.

Neighborhoods participating in the Southside Big Clean event included Apalachee Ridge, Bond, College Terrace, Providence, South City and Wilson Green.

The Apalachee Ridge sign was knocked down and Khufu Abdu, one of the community’s volunteer will rebuild the neighborhood sign.

“I’m a contractor and I do a lot of mason work, so a lot of jobs that I have has a lot of materials left over so I brought them out here and I’m going to rebuild the sign to help out the neighborhood,” Abdu said.

CANN facilitator Christic Henry believes the event helps energize neighborhoods and recognizes leadership and other advocacies in the area.

“It is an ‘us’ thing. It is the community coming together, ‘us’ as citizens who work for the city, ‘us’ as citizens who have business coming together to improve to make the quality life better where we live,” Henry said.

Each neighborhood had different projects in their selected areas for the volunteers to accomplish. The overall arching for each neighborhood is that there will be a bulk waste pickup, and each neighborhood has a drop off box site where citizens can bring their bulk waste that includes heavy cardboard, paper waste, appliances, electronic items, or anything people may want to dispose.

Over 2,500 door hangers were hung around the Southside neighborhoods to notify residents of the bulk waste drop site within their neighborhood. The city of Tallahassee had special staffing in place to do pick-up in the neighborhoods for the waste items. 

Many of the residents and volunteer said they look forward to the Big Clean to show they care about their community.

Resident Shauna Smith says the cleaning helps them get involved.

“The residents are getting involved. It shows that we care about the neighborhood and the community comes to help support. Its just a great energizer,” Smith said.  

The CANN and KLTCB would like to see more students get involved with the cleaning.  In upcoming years they hope to engage the youth and college sectors, and get more energetic generational participation in the event.