For the second year in a row, the Glassell Park Improvement Association (GPIA) has received special recognition from the City of Los Angeles for its programs to clean the streets and improve the community.
The recognition came through Clean Streets L.A., a citywide initiative by the Bureau of Sanitation and the Board of Public Works to provide money and other incentives for community-based clean ups. GPIA won a “Longevity Award” for the years it has spent spearheading clean-up projects in Glassell Park, including its Flash Clean-ups in 2017, where volunteers met on one Saturday each month for 45-minute street cleaning sessions at various locations. The City also recognized GPIA’s creative use of flyers, banners and social media to inform residents and businesses of each Flash Clean-Up, as well as its smart use of equipment: In addition to the usual brooms, buckets and other gear, the Flash crew brings a large rolling bin to the site, so residents who live nearby can conveniently dispose of bulky items that might otherwise find their way to the curb.
The recognition came with an additional $1,500 from Clean Streets L.A. to help GPIA continue its work. It also adds to GPIA’s collection of awards. Last year, GPIA won the “Marketing Master Award” from Clean Streets L.A. for “Parkemon Go,” a clever promotion of its Flash Clean Ups that played off the Pokemon Go craze.
Not bad for an effort that started eight years ago with a group of friends gathering to clean up a local freeway underpass, said Jim Kiehl, the chair of GPIA’s Sidewalks & Streets Committee. That one ad hoc effort has led to sustained community collaboration with funding from the City, all in the service of keeping the streets clean.
Other NELA Clean Streets Efforts
Over the three years that Clean Streets L.A. has been in existence, it has given nearly $140,000 in so-called “challenge grants” to Neighborhood Councils and other qualified non-profits.
In addition to Glassell Park’s latest $1,500 grant, two other NELA groups received funding in the 2018 round, with $2,500 going to the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and $2,000 to the Eagle Rock Yacht Club, an adult dodgeball club that awards points based on a team’s participation in street cleanups and other community service.