This week Clean-and-Lean would like to honor the Downtown Mobile District Management Corporation and their twelve employees. This 75-block Business Improvement District (BID) is a Self Help District funded by an extra assessment property owners pay to support the beautification of their area.
For seven years their five stewards have picked up litter, removed graffiti and power washed sidewalks seven days a week. During their last fiscal year they picked up 134,685 pounds of litter within their 75 blocks. Ladies and Gentlemen, that works out to 27,000 pounds of litter removed per employee.
When you consider that each bit of litter probably weighs less than an ounce, that's a lot of little pieces.
That's a lot of litter you don't see when you visit downtown. This dedicated staff carriers out their litter walks over 365 times a year.
What would the area look like if it depended on a giant once a year cleanup?
The BID team also includes five regents who serve as smiling guides, assist stranded motorist and escort workers to their cars at night.
Finally, have you ever tried to keep seasonal plantings alive, blooming and beautiful in just one flower bed around your house? If you have then you might begin to realize the amazing job done by full time horticulturist Hap Kern with the BID?
Without the aid of a sprinkler system, the team keeps beautiful arrangements overflowing from 157 different flower beds covering portions of seventy-five blocks.
All these efforts are lead by the always smiling BID Operations Manager Clayton Ratledge housed in the Downtown Alliance.
Mobile is indeed fortunate to have this dedicated group and Clean-and-Lean also wants to thank the visionary leaders who managed to bring life to this great idea seven years ago.
Some cities have multiple Business Improvement Districts all funded the same way so we don't have to stop with just seventy-five blocks.
Sometime you get what you pay for. We are proud to honor them and thankful for the property owners who willingly pay for their extra service.
Let's all tell them thank you when you see them on the street.
PS: With all the physical activity that comes with their jobs, there isn't a single obese employee on the team. Clean-and-Lean is a beautiful thing.
Lean- and-Clean would like kindly issue our first challenge for community improvement.
This is one brought to us by Uncle Joe Sims at McCoy Outdoor.
The neighbors around Murphy High School beg the leaders of Murphy High School to "Lead by Example" and to help Lead the Cleaning of their campus each and every day.
What if Murphy High School was a clean beautiful park setting for everyone to enjoy? Would it be an asset to the neighborhood and the community?
Education is filled with lots of challenges, good people are stretched as it is and we are all grateful for their efforts.
Those are all good reasons to get outside for a Daily Litter Walk every day.
Taking a walk relieves stress and brings about countless positive feelings for everyone involved.
What if the leaders of Murphy High School considered a mental shift to How can Murphy became a Good Neighbor?
What if the Principle, assistant principles, coaches, players and cheerleaders started Leading by Example and cleaning their campus every day?
What if each and every day, each one decided to go out and do a Daily Litter Walk around campus.
What if they picked up every piece of Litter on campus regardless of size every day?
Amazing things happen when you do this.
Each day they would get to know each other and their campus better.
Each day their campus and neighborhood would be Cleaner and they would all be Leaner.
Their Lead by Example effort would inspire other students and teachers to be Lean and Clean too.
What have you got to lose?
It might not help, but it certainly won't hurt.
Please, let's all give it a try.
Thank you very much,
I think this is a great message I saw on a billboard at the entrance to the public beach in Destin, Florida.
This week Clean-and-Lean would like to honor all those, who on their own, are cleaning neighborhoods around the world.
It seems each time a Daily Litter Walk discussion is held, the reply is "I do that" or "I know someone who takes Daily Litter Walks". We would like to thank and honor each one of them.
Each one won.
Won't you join us? Find a committed friend, get your bags, gloves and hit the streets each day. Your neighborhood will be Cleaner, you will be Leaner and you and your friends will feel warm inside for what you have done.
Helping make your neighborhood better is Food for the Soul.
Five miles and only two bags full today. Please start taking your own Daily Litter Walk. It feels great to exercise and do something good for the community at the same time. Lean-and-Clean.
Leading by example has always made sense to me.
What if some of our elected officials and other community leaders joined in the daily litter walk?
Mobile has a Mayor, six council members and three county commissioners. Could they all join?
What if the Police Chief, Precinct Captains, the Sheriff all joined. What if the leaders of the other cities in the county joined too?
Then what about school board members, Chamber of Commerce leaders, business community leaders, medical community leaders, doctors, nurses, university and college leaders, school principles and teachers, too.
Wow, just think about the beauty of such an effort.
What if the President and Congress joined, too?
Would it be easier for them to reach across the aisle and work together to fix our country if they all picked up litter together everyday?
Couldn't each of them lead by example each day. Do you think that would have an impact.
Do you think that would be a good example of leading by example?
Having a goal is helpful, too.
What if we set a goal of 1,000 Daily Litter Walkers just in Mobile County every day?
Would our Land be Cleaner and our Water too?
Wouldn't Cleaner Land lead to Cleaner Water?
Doesn't daily exercise improve your health and quality of life? Could we all be Lean-and-Clean?
Wouldn't a Daily Litter Walk help make you be Leaner and your community Cleaner?
What if a good part of our cleaner environment didn't just rely on stronger laws and expensive technology?
What if it came from citizens filling their free plastic grocery bags with litter each day and inspiring others to do the same.
If you're not dying, can you get up and help?
Join your neighbors and take a step and another and another toward making our community a better place everyday.
This week, Clean-and-Lean and Lean-and-Clean would like to honor the staff of Keep Mobile Beautiful in Mobile, AL.
Each day the Keep Mobile Beautiful staff operates the City of Mobile Recycling Center on Government Street. They accept then process tons of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, aluminum, and steel each month. During October the center processed 226,488 pounds of material. Additionally another 494,680 pounds of mixed paper was collected through dumpsters and curbside recycling.
This recap is of just one month out of many years of activity, but it gives you an idea of what happens at that little place on Government Street. Each month the staff and thousands of householders do their part to make this a better place. This one facility moved almost three quarters of a million pounds of material from an expensive useless destination to a productive useful part of life for another day. Three quarters of a million pounds that didn't end up in the storm drains, rivers and bay, that didn't go to landfills, that can be reused another day. Well done.
Additionally, each month Outreach Coordinator Phyllis Wingard visits area schools as part of the ongoing anti-litter campaign. So far this school year 1,819 students have signed a Keep Mobile Beautiful Pledge.
Let's all do our part. Make a Daily Litter Walk part of your routine. You will be Leaner and your Community will be Cleaner.
Clean land leads to Clean Water and a Cleaner Environment for all. Let's all take pride in our place and make it better.
Economic development, beautification, restoration, preservation, clean land and clean water are all dots worth connecting. If the groups involved with each segment linked together the results of all could be magnified many times.
If you know of an ongoing eyesore let's all join together and take action to find a cure.
Best wishes and see you on your Daily Litter Walk.
November is a great time to remember what we are thankful for. Each week this month, I will thank organizations and community leaders for their efforts in the fight against litter.
This week, I am thankful for the environmental judges, Judges Whiddon and Coleman-Hall, in Mobile, Alabama. They provide a great service to our community and are working to build community pride through the Environmental Court and Keep Mobile Beautiful.
Monday through Friday of each week, my wife and I take a five mile "Daily Litter" walk in west Mobile.
We've developed four routes which we vary on a daily basis so that more streets are cleaned each week. The tools used are the small plastic bags brought home for free each week from merchants and a gardening glove. Each day three or four bags full of Litter are removed from the streets and left in a trash can instead of a storm drain.
I encourage all cities to join this effort as well. Citizens might go out their door feeling blue, but by the time they get home they will be pumped up and ready to go.
They will feel good from the exercise and from knowing they did something good for the community, too.
During your "Daily Litter Walks" your mind will have an hour to float free and travel along some new mental paths you didn't notice before.
Some of those mental images might connect dots to ideas you never considered. Your ah-ha moment might come on the next block so never quit.
Our most notable accomplishments have germinated from ideas that effortlessly floated up during our morning walks. No walk, no idea, no walk, no travel.
Here are a couple of things we've learned from daily walks since 1986:
Walking benefits the body, but it is chiefly for the mind and the spirit. Many times the 4:00 AM alarm has startled me into a less than excited state of mind, but oddly enough I never returned depressed. By the time we return, the mind, body and spirit are filled with hope, fire and ready to face the day.
The "Daily Litter Walk" has helped visualize ideas all connected in different ways. Picking up litter everyday helps preserve your neighborhood and lifts your spirit.
Helping preserve your neighborhood helps preserve the appearance and value of your property. Helping preserve your neighborhood helps preserve your city.
Taking concrete action to preserve and improve your city helps encourage economic development and better quality of life. Win, win, win.
Now grab your bags and your glove and get out there. See you on the streets.
John Robert Smith
October 3, 2012, the Downtown Alliance Annual meeting was held at the Battle House Hotel in Mobile, AL. The keynote speaker was John Robert Smith of Reconnecting America
. He is also former four-term Mayor of Meridian, MS, and very interested in bring communities back to life. One of his slides was a very colorful map of the U.S. The deep colors illustrated the health issues in the southeast. The poor health of many citizens could be helped by more exercise. If the citizens could be encouraged to join the Lean-and-Clean effort they would be healthier and our re-connected neighborhoods would be cleaner. A daily litter walk would help everyone. After the meeting I spoke with Mayor Smith explaining the Lean and Clean idea. The two sided business card he carried away listed our web addresses. He listened carefully to the idea and even asked about the size of the bag I carried. Who knows? He might take the idea to Washington. It would be great to join forces with such a great program as Reconnecting America.
Everyday a neighbor and a friend doing a litter walk on every street and we're litter free until tomorrow.