Cleanup Unites Activism Under Bridge That Divides a City

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Under a bridge that divides two parts of Rockford, the Keye Mallquist neighborhood watch group came united in taking their community back.

"This is a gateway and entrance from the East side to the Mid-Town district, renovated by the Seventh Street and Broadway area," volunteer Carole Pysher said.

The group got their hands dirty between 15th Street and Woodruff Avenue, cleaning up not only roadsides, but also the neighborhood's image.

"We wanted to show the community that we do care about what happens down here. There's a lot of people that have a lot invested here, and we want to make this as nice as possible," Pysher said.

However, the cleanup unearthed more than garbage. Whisky bottles and even crack pipes were discovered, proving the group's dedication and resolve to force out negatives that can creep in their surrounding blocks.

"What I can't understand is how a community like this; people like this just toss this stuff out into the street. This is where our children play, where our elderly walk, where we live as a community," Pysher said.

And through their elbow grease, Keye Mallquist members showed their pride in the 11th ward, in making it a cleaner and safer place on this and future Saturdays.

"We've been out here since 8:30 cleaning up this, and I'll tell you it's now 100 percent better than it was before we came this morning," Pysher said.

A beautiful display of beautification and grassroots activism for this neighborhood watch group.


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