JAMESTOWN – A revamped neighborhood clean up initiative kicks off next month in the City of Jamestown.
The event, which was previously called ‘Hands on Jamestown’ has been rebranded as ‘Hands on Neighborhoods’ organizing small, local events to help residents make connections and share resources with their neighbors.
The program will be highlighted by seven events between the months of April and October, where efforts will be made to clean up target neighborhoods on one Saturday of each month.
Coordinated by the Chautauqua County Land Bank, Executive Director Gina Paradis, says that the long-term goal is to make the initiative a permanent program.
“We really want this to be more of a program than just an event, or seven events in this case,” Paradis said. “We want the program to help empower community members to build a sense of community pride.”
The first year, the program will be focused in Jamestown, but Paradis hopes to extend it to other areas in the county.
“What we’re trying to do is build a tool kit, so that when other grass roots efforts evolve and want to do a clean up somewhere in the city, we can actually provide them with a whole toolbox of things they can use to coordinate their own event,” Paradis said.
Paradis wants to highlight collaboration between the city departments, the civic organizations, and the land bank, which helps people deal with problems in real estate caused by bankruptcy or foreclosure.
She says vacant homes not only bring property value down, but, oftentimes, they become sites for elicit activity, leading to health and safety concerns.
“We want to try to help the neighborhoods that have these problems, and ones that are at the tipping point. They might go the wrong way if you don’t have an intervention,” Paradis said.
The Hands On Neighborhoods program will discuss crime prevention techniques, with area law enforcement officers helping to provide strategies to make neighborhoods safer.
The first Hands on Neighborhood event will be held April 24. Currently, Paradis is looking for volunteers, as well as sponsors.
Paradis says health protocols like mask wearing will be followed at the events. More information is posted online at chqlandbank.org/handson.