Downtown Chattanooga clean-up scheduled for Sept. 8

Downtown Chattanooga clean-up scheduled for Sept. 8

September 4th, 2012 by Holly Leber in Life Entertainment

Aerial of downtown Chattanooga

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Clean it up. Green it up.

On Sept. 8, volunteers from organizations around Chattanooga will be convening downtown for the fourth Chattanooga Clean and Green.

"The whole purpose is to get people who live or work downtown, or who care about downtown, out in the streets to help it look clean and safe," said Tiffanie Robinson, spokeswoman for River City Company, the organization behind the event. "We ask people to put teams together and come out to spend three hours on a Saturday cleaning up."

River City will team up with Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise to move the project beyond downtown into neighborhoods including Southside, Highland Park and Fortwood.

The program has evolved beyond picking up litter, Robinson said. They also do beautification, including graffiti removal. RCC worked with a gang task force to learn how to differentiate between street art and graffiti.

"You can kind of tell the difference," she said. "A lot of stuff downtown, if it's tagged, it typically isn't a very nice word or a very nice image."

River City Company is getting a hand from Scenic Cities Beautiful, the Keep America Beautiful affiliate for Hamilton County. The organization has been assisting River City Company in coordinating volunteers and materials for the Clean and Green effort.

"We're just here to help support and coordinate as needed," said Jeanette Eigelsbach, program coordinator.

Such support might include providing garbage bags or materials for removing graffiti.

One of the goals, Robinson said, is to make the city as walkable as possible.

"Whenever you get people out for four hours on a Saturday, there are so many things they discover about their downtown that they didn't see before, because maybe they would typically jump in their car and drive from point A to point B, and during the clean-up they're actually walking."

Clean and Green is presented by River City Company and the City of Chattanooga, and is sponsored by Volkswagen. Partnering organizations include Chattem, Girls Preparatory School, McKee Foods and more.

For more information on how to become a partnering organization, contact Tiffanie Robinson at 423-265-3700, or trobinson@rivercitycompany.com.

Contact Holly Leber at hleber@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6391. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/hollyleber. Subscribe to her on Facebook at facebook.com/holly.j.leber