UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The paint brushes, broomsticks and shovels will no longer be needed after today as Rockford Sharefest comes to a close.
The Roosevelt Community Education Center is looking brand new after crews have worked non stop for the last nine days.
The 92-year-old building got a splash of new paint, an updated library and other renovations.
"These kids deserve a great learning environment," said site leader Rick Shimp. "Rockford certainly needs change and change for the better. Projects like this just help build the momentum behind change that's coming in the city."
In addition to the school, State Street received some upgrades as well with planters, paint and flowers.
During the nine day event, more than 2,000 people have volunteered contributing nearly 10,000 hours of their time.
UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A community-wide clean-up lasting over a week has kicked off and it’s now expanding throughout the Forest City.
Rockford Sharefest volunteers are focusing this year not just on schools like in the past, but also the downtown area. The idea came from Sharefest volunteers and Heartland Community church who pitched in to get downtown ready from the winter celebration, Stroll on State.
“Rockford Sharefest is all about engaging people. It’s about us rolling up our sleeves and saying, ‘You know what? There’s no hill too big for us to climb as a community.’ And we have so much talent in our community. I mean if you look at the people and resources we have, we don’t have to look outside Rockford to solve our problems. We have what it takes right here,” said Rockford Sharefest Director Creig Day.
Sharefest is also cleaning up at Roosevelt Community education center. Volunteers will be out all day tonight through June 28th.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Rockford Sharefest has spent the last handful of summers cleaning up our area’s schools, but this year they are extending their helping hand to another part of town.
The stretch on State Street between third street and the river has seen better days, but this summer, Rockford Sharefest is partnering with the city and the RACVB to make the strip more beautiful.
“A city only has one downtown. We can have lots of other areas that are beautiful, but we really only have one downtown and that’s the heartbeat of your city, it’s where all cultures and all neighborhoods come together," said Tana Vettore with the RACVB.
The idea to improve the area came from the 30,000 people who attended the first “Stroll on State” this past winter. Organizers want families to make lifelong memories downtown.
“People want to come downtown. They want a place to come to, to create memories. It’s kind of a melting pot where everybody from every neighborhood can come and just enjoy one another,” said organizer Creig Day.
Volunteers will spend eight days in June painting light posts, cleaning planter boxes and making sure everything is handicap accessible, all in an effort to make downtown more inviting.
This summer’s cleanup will be the first part of a two-year process and part of a citywide beautification project which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Along with State Street, Rockford Sharefest announced today that they will be inside Roosevelt High School this summer painting and updating the library and cafeteria.