Local Volunteers Work To 'Clean Up' Freeport's Image


FREEPORT (WIFR) -- Rockford isn't the only city working to 'transform' its image. Just a weeks after a tragic shooting rocked their community, volunteers are working to shed a more positive light in Freeport.

"It's a beautiful town with a lot of history, we just need to bring it back to life."

t's that sense of pride Shannon Broennecke says she wants to bring back to the Pretzel City. She hopes to shed a positive light on the area, instead of focusing on crime like the murder of Melissa Nickel earlier this month, or lack of jobs.

"We don't want to be focused on for some of the negative things that happen. Because every town and every city has things like that happen and people tend to focus on a lot on that in Freeport and that's not all Freeport is," says Broennecke.

Broennecke is cleaning up Freeport's image.... literally, by volunteering with 'Freeport In Action' an organization which started in January.

The group is creating small projects like cleaning the city streets to revitalize their community, in hopes of attracting new businesses.

"We're restoring pride," says Mark Diddens.

Mark Diddens is one of the co-founders. He says this initiative is all about taking action right now.

"We've sat around tables talking about identifying problems and identifying solutions to those problems but we never seemed to get out and roll up our sleeves," says Diddens.

That's why Diddens says Saturday's clean-up is only the beginning of shedding the negative image.

"To see empty building, empty building, empty building, we're thinking about getting together some art installations that we could that we could put in these storefront windows."

'Freeport In Action' hopes changes like that will bring a new sense of pride to the Pretzel City.

Although both initiatives aim to revamp city images, Diddens says this movement is different from Transform Rockford. He says Freeport in action is focusing more on short term goals.


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