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Dirt watch out! Queens Village to get spring spruce up

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It’s time to clean up Queens Village, Glen Oaks, Cambria Heights, Laurelton and St. Albans, and everyone is pitching in to help.

State Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village) is pleased that her district’s 11th annual Spring Cleanup and Beautification Day, to be held Saturday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., will bring together the community.

“It is important because it makes people feel a real sense of community,” Clark said. “They rake, sweep, plant and beautify the community. People have a higher respect for the area when they see others working to clean the community.”

Residents who would like to participate in the cleanup should meet in front of Clark’s office at 97-01 Springfield Blvd. in Queens Village. All of the equipment needed to beautify the neighborhood, such as garbage bags, brooms, rakes and plants, will be handed out at that time for the designated projects.

Clark said the idea for the Spring Cleanup and Beautification Day started during former-Mayor David Dinkins’ administration. “We sprung into action” when services were getting cut, she said.

Citibank, the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, Community Boards 12 and 13, the New York City departments of Sanitation, Parks, Transportation and Environmental Protection, the 103rd, 105th and 113th precincts, Girl Scout troops, Community Development Corp., OTB and the Long Island Rail Road all are lending a helping hand to the spring cleanup.

Clark said city workers will clean up local roadways, parks and unauthorized dumping areas, while members of civic organizations work to clean up different areas within their communities.

It is hard, she said, to find real problem areas and places where there is excessive dumping, so the community works to beautify their neighborhoods by removing graffiti and planting flowers.

Clark said she hoped neighborhood stores would participate by sweeping their sidewalks, cleaning their windows and putting out some shrubbery and/or plants. She said she had visited Germany a few years ago and one of the things that struck her was the flowers in front of the stores.

Richard Hellenbrecht, chairman of CB 13, said the community looks forward to the day because it provides an opportunity to make their environment nicer. It works, he said, because residents, elected officials, city officials and civic leaders all come together to improve the neighborhoods where they live.

“There are areas fixed up beautifully by the green streets program,” he said, “but there are other areas that do not fall under the group’s jurisdiction and the community works on those areas.”

A few years ago Clark stopped at one of the projects he was working on and pitched in, Hellenbrecht said.

“I go around and visit all of the sites,” Clark said. “It is a fantastic day for all of us.”

For more information or to sign up, contact Mary Gilpin, project coordinator, at 479-2333.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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