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Students help in Southeast Portland clean up effort

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On an early Saturday morning in April, ten PCC students from the Southeast Center joined local business owners and neighbors in Southeast Portland to collect more than 540 pounds of garbage and remove graffiti on buildings in the Jade District.

The two-hour event was organized by the Jade District, a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) district established by the City of Portland in 2011. The NPI is a public/private partnership that aims to transform underserved commercial districts in east Portland into engines of economic growth without displacing the communities that reside there. Stanley Moy, the district manager for the Jade District, said that the group cleaned up parking lots, picked up cigarette butts and removed graffiti along business buildings, public signs and bus stops, covering ten blocks along Southeast 82nd Avenue.

“We had about 30 volunteers, half of them were PCC students, helping us collect 18 bags of trash and remove 10 graffiti sites along 82nd Avenue,” said Moy. “PCC students made a big impact on helping to improve the Jade District Businesses as well as the surrounding community.”

The PCC students that participated were glad to be part of the larger community here in Southeast Portland,” said Naomi Barbos, an ASPCC leader at Southeast Center who helped to recruit PCC students for the clean up event. “They spent a lot of their time picking up cigarette butts on and around the perimeters of the Southeast Center. We were glad to do our part for the college and the community, but would really like to see smokers clean up after themselves, instead of leaving it to volunteers to do.”

  • Cleaning along the SE 82nd Avenue parade route was a priority for volunteers.
  • PCC students joined neighbors and the business community to help clean up the Jade District.
  • Volunteers picked up bags and bags of cigarette butts during the event.

About Christine Egan

Christine Egan is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and has a graduate degree in land use and environmental planning. Prior to her Peace Corps service in the Dominican Republic, she lived in Washington DC serving as a legislative advisor to ... more »

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x by Nancy Chapin 8 years ago

The 82nd Avenue Parade Committee greatly appreciates the time and energy that students and others put in to clean up the area as well as to prepare 82nd Avenue for the Parade on April 26th. Thanks a bunch!!

x by Sam T 8 years ago

Why bother removing graffiti? Who cares, i’d rather look at art on the back of a building (that actually represents the local community) rather than a plain, empty wall. From what I can see on picture three, the graffiti is not a bunch of simple name “tags” by high school students it is art.

I think the trash clean up is excellent but cleaning up cool works of art is a waste of time and a disservice to the community your organization claims to be serving.

x by Andy Z 8 years ago

Awesome job picking up the trash!

Is it possible to have a space for local graffiti artists to show off their skills? Art created by the community is what we want to see, not ugly buildings and abstract rectangles of removed art. I understand that businesses in the Jade District do not want graffiti on their buildings, but if the business owners and their affiliates (looking at you, APANO) decided to work with the artists in their community, perhaps 82nd could become more pleasing to the eye.

x by SEB3300 8 years ago

What you call art on a building that is graffiti is not art. Some of those tags are gang signs and words that children do not need to see. ANY type of art that is seen with the human eyes should be pleasing and no jumbled up gang tags. Plus it devalues the neighborhood. I am glad they took the graffiti down. In my opinion it looked like trash. The owners of those businesses have a right to have it off of their buildings. If some one was to do that to me I would be up set. If a person who has real talent and made a nice picture murals and was pleasing to the eye and made people really not feel bad to see it, then I would be fine with it and NICE wall art and not the messed up jumbled up gang bangers words can help the neighborhood. So be glad that they put in their hard earned time to get rid of the crap on the side of the walls, that did not need to be there. Those kids tag on every thing. Those “kids” should be puting their talents into other stuff like their education and being kids and not in gangs or using call signs for people to see and allow others to know they have drugs or it is “their” area. I know this because I have family that are in gang tasks forces. They read the graffiti and know who the gang is and who sprayed it on the walls. Like any one really wants to see that. I had to replace several parts to a fence and that wood was not cheap to come by. So stop whining about graffiti that has been washed away and be happy it was. (Very happy lady).