By Reggie Seigler
City of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh put out a call for individuals and neighborhood groups to participate in his annual Clean-Up ’Cuse Adopt a Block program.
Hollis Mathis, vice president of Joined Artists, Musicians & Singers, Inc. (JAMS) answered the call. JAMS is a nonprofit that hosts events directed at creating economic opportunities for diverse community artists. The group is organizing its members to clean-up the 100 to 400 blocks of South Avenue next month. The blocks were specifically chosen because many of JAMS’ members have participated in Southwest Showcase Sundays, an annual summertime concert series held at the Spirit of Jubilee Park located amid the blocks. Mathis, who is also a singer and lives nearby, is a known advocate for keeping the neighborhood clean and can often be seen doing it on his own.
Walsh’s initiative began in 2018 and since has registered 120 teams. These cleanups offer a way for residents to come together to pick up the trash and litter that accumulates along the curb lines and sidewalks after a long Syracuse winter.
“Doing a litter pickup is one way that we can safely get out and enjoy spring,” Walsh said. He hopes that people citywide will join in helping to clean up their neighborhoods.
JAMS will meet at The Spirit of Jubilee Park starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 17. Organizers encourage other community members to participate. Anyone who is interested needs only to show up at that time. The trash bags, gloves and pickers will be handed out along with bottled water and other tokens of appreciation.
In addition to being an effort to clean and beautify the neighborhood, JAMS also intends to use the event as a platform to help raise awareness about its intent to build a permanent performance stage at the park.
No rain date has been selected. For more information, visit the JAMS website here. For those interested in organizing a cleanup group for your neighborhood, register with the city here.
Reggie Seigler is a South Side resident and regularly writes the “A Friendly Five” music column. If you have a suggestion, contact Reggie at email@example.com or (315) 479-9620