Spring Cleanup removes 4.6 tons of trash from GatewayJFK neighborhood.

Spring Cleanup removes 4.6 tons of trash from GatewayJFK neighborhood.

April 8, 2019

On Wed. March 20th and Thursday March 21st GatewayJFK, held our first Spring Cleanup to beautify the commercial and residential corridor along Rockaway Blvd. near JFK Airport. Ten workers swept every street, sidewalk and median in the 215-acre district to remove 238 bags which is estimated to be 4.6 tons of garbage from the neighborhood. The cleanup was performed by Wildcat Services who provide transitional employment and vocational training to public assistance recipients, justice-involved individuals and residents of homeless shelters. Wildcat’s staff, recognizable in their bright green shirts; will continue to work in the district on a weekly basis to provide street and sidewalk cleaning, trash removal, graffiti removal, and landscaping services. “This is the perfect time to hold this event.” Said Scott Grimm-Lyon, Executive Director of GatewayJFK. “Spring Cleaning helps us enjoy the nice weather and with a clean neighborhood, the workers and residents of the area can now take pride in their community and feel like this is a place that’s cared for, healthy, and economically sound.” Due to the commercial nature of the neighborhood, GatewayJFK has often been the victim of extensive littering and illegal dumping. But GatewayJFK is confident that by keeping the streets clean, and by tracking and reporting issues in the neighborhood they will create a noticeable improvement. GatewayJFK has also developed a quality of life tool to help workers and residents report issues like flooding, downed telephone poles, abandoned vehicles, and illegal dumping on their website at gatewayjfk.org. The tool helps track the problems in the community and improve response times from government agencies. “We help our members by navigating government relationships and spending our staff time to solve problems that they may not have time to deal with,” said Grimm-Lyon. GatewayJFK is dedicated to making the area a clean and safe space to live in, work in, and invest in. The efforts toward beautification are just the first step in a larger vision. “We’ve been working with NYPD to help fight illegal dumping, and we’re also conducting a full traffic study of the area” Grimm-Lyon said “This will help us figure out ways for workers, residents, and trucks to all live together, and it will give us a vision of what the area can look like in the future.”