CityServe 2019 sent volunteers across the CSRA to do their share for the greater good.
The city of Augusta has paired up with a variety of non-profit groups to clean up the streets. One of the biggest projects is the 15th Street corridor.
“There is something about the community that wants to do things like I’ve never seen,” said CityServe coordinator Rick Keuroglian.
Some people might describe CityServe exactly how parents see some of their kids’ rooms, it can always be cleaner. Augusta is clean, for the most part, but some volunteers put their hands to the plow anyway.
“A lot of trash. A lot of trash,” said soldier and volunteer Josh Balasa.
Nonprofit groups, city workers, soldiers from Ft. Gordon, and others went to a variety of different places throughout Richmond County cleaning it up.
Balasa explained, “Wake up, go get some food then roll out here. You know, the weather is great so it’s pretty easy to come out.”
Riverkeeper Tonya Botitatibus helped out too. She said, “All of the trash that ends up in the streets end up in those holes in the neighborhood and that goes directly to your creek and streams so that goes into your drinking water. But beyond that trash in the street itself causes blight. It causes issues.”
The biggest CityServe project was Mayor Hardie Davis’ project. That cleanup was at the 15th Street corridor and we found volunteers there working hard.
“A lot of times people don’t think well of distressed neighborhoods. They think that they have the best ideas and our philosophy is walk in their shoes. Go find out what the neighbors really want to do and then we do those projects,” explained Keuroglian.
Not only did volunteers serve around 15th Street, but they also lent a helping hand at W.S. Hornsby Elementary. That’s where Octavius Murray was getting his hands dirty.
He said, “This is a beautification project so of course when you walk down the street and see trash everywhere opportunities to pick the trash up is a start. That’s kind of what we did out there today with this garden. Trying to get the trash out, get the weeds out. Make it look better so when you pass by you’ll see something nice. We wanted the kids to see something positive, something nice and this is a good way to start.”
“One of the grabbers that we were using to clean up is now being used by two kids who are back there cleaning up themselves so it’s kind of contagious,” said Botitatibus.
Keuroglian added, “It’s not caught, it’s taught. If people can see it and experience it, it’s contagious.”