When I stumbled upon the opportunity to be a summer intern for the Middle Main Initiative on a google search, I figured my time here would be spent doing menial office tasks or coffee runs. Instead, I have found myself surrounded by opportunities to watch and participate in community revitalization. One of the main summer projects I have been assigned is to focus on planning Community Clean-Up days with local organizations and places of worship. Through convincing busy church leaders and Outreach Coordinators to donate their time to clean-up a section of Poughkeepsie, I have also begun to understand why it is so important to take part in a Community Clean Up. When trash covers the streets and no garbage cans are in sight it leaves a feeling of hopelessness. Community Clean Up's can allow residents and local businesses to feel that they can positively impact their neighborhood simply by picking up trash and it can reassure other members of the community that they are cared for and that the spaces they live and work in are important. Community Clean Ups may not be the solution to every problem that the community has, but they are making a big impact on the attitude and behavior of the residents here.
Written by: Katy Lambert
Middle Main Intern