Livability Committee and Adopt-a-Block Update

By Jody Guth

While the corona virus has kept the majority of us homebound – other than  for essential services – I’ve found that the streets have reflected this slowdown of activity. Less activity does equate to less trash but several adopt-a-blockers I’ve spoken to have been equally less motivated, myself included. Less people on the streets to collect garbage equates to certain areas not receiving “the love” a thorough trash pick-up will provide. 

Almost as an answer to that reality, I noticed a lone soul picking up trash along MLK Jr. Blvd the other day on my way to the store.  Pulling over to the curb and rolling down my window I asked the good Samaritan if he lived in Eliot, did he wish to join the Eliot Adopt-a-block program, and what was his name!  Fortunately he answered “yes” to the first two questions, and I happily added Michael Schwern as the newest member of our team. 

Michael lives on the corner of Rodney and Tillamook. He’s been living there for three years and lived for another number of years not far from his current home. He told me he was motivated to help pick up based on his affiliation with Burning Man and their ethos of “leave no trace”. He felt compelled to do so along MLK as a way to give back as he supports the peaceful protests and vigils that make their way through Eliot. I thought it a wonderful way of supporting our neighborhood and the surrounding streets. Michael would like to adopt Sacramento Ave between Rodney and MLK plus other areas of need during his daily walks. Thanks, Michael, and welcome.  

In addition to Michael, I met another Eliot neighbor, Julie Cushing, who was picking up garbage along Rodney Ave. Julie also felt compelled to give back and make a difference.  She said she hated seeing trash in the streets and wanted to do her part. When I asked Julie if she wanted to join the adopt-a-blockers as well, she was happy to join and becomes the latest member of our little group. Julie lives on the corner of Rodney and Thompson, and has been in the neighborhood for 20 years. She would like to help out on Tillamook from Rodney to MLK, parts of Russell, and Williams. Wow…thanks, Julie! 

Both she and Michael will be entered into the drawing coming up in a few days for those in the Adopt-a-Block family. They and/or you could be the lucky recipient of the $100.00 gift certificate to your local New Season grocery store, who we randomly pick each quarter. My trusty pal, Adrian, will draw the name from a current list of 28 trash-eliminators, and I’ll notify the winner. The odds are pretty sweet.

I encourage anyone with a desire to lend a hand to email me at jodyguth@gmail.com to join. (If you prefer phone its 503-331-1511 which is a LAND line, so no texts). I’ll get you stocked up with gloves, garbage-picker-uppers, and bags for trash.  The trash can be left for pickup by the city on the corner or address of your choice. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you set up with numbers, and everything you need to help keep Eliot lookin’ good. 

Adopt-a-Block Update

Winter has arrived, and the streets of Eliot are looking mighty fine thanks, in part, to the on-going efforts of our super adopt-a-blockers. Not an easy a task in the colder months….so a big shout out and thank you to all our volunteers.

During the past several months we’ve added John and Cara who are applying their efforts to Thompson street between MLK and Rodney, and Jan Landis who’s been keeping the area behind Boise Elementary School trash-free. So happy to have them on board. Do feel free to contact me if interested in adopting near your area. Also know that you could sign up to adopt one of the newly planted bioswales. They tend to accumulate all manner of trash, cigarette butts, etc. Sadly, I’ve already fished quite a few items from one near my house. Contact me at jodyguth@gmail.com to sign on and be a bio-swale protector, or a block picker-upper, or both!

Adopt-a-Block Update: Some Pointers for Keeping your Block Clean this Fall

By Jody Guth

Alas, the dog days of summer are behind us, and the cool, refreshing showers of autumn will soon be upon us. Along with that change comes the shedding of mature Linden, Maple, and Oak trees lining our streets, plus the many more, newly planted trees. A big shout out to Friends of Trees and the great work they do to improve Eliot’s green spaces!

Please remember to do your part and help to keep those leaves from clogging the sewers when the rain starts falling more heavily in the coming months. It also really helps those hard-working adopt-a-block folks who volunteer to keep the blocks you live on free of trash. When mixed with wet leaves, retrieving that debris and the tossed cigarette butts can be a particular challenge. In fact, the challenge is so great I hereby personally invite everyone reading this, now, to put down the paper, go to your phone and call me, Jody, at 503-331-1511 (ok, finish your coffee, first…) I’ll get you set up with all the bags, gloves, and info you need. I know, I know….it doesn’t really seem like the best way to spend a few minutes of your day, but trust me, you’ll feel great when people pass you by and thank you for your efforts. You’ll swoon when looking down the block you just toiled over and, in your own little corner of Eliot, along with 23 other toilers, you’ve managed to improve the appearance and sustainability of this one little street. Also, you’ll be thrilled to know that you are then entered into a drawing (1 out of 24 chances is pretty sweet) for a $100.00 gift certificate to New Seasons. Our next drawing is coming up shortly, and your name will be entered if you claim your block soon.

Of course it’s great to win prizes, but hopefully, your decision to join with other adopters is also one of simply caring for your community and a desire to give a little back. Our last two adopters, Cindy, who has adopted Cook Street between Rodney and MLK, and Laura, who decided to give some attention to Williams between Tillamook and San Rafael have gladdened those areas with their trusty Solve bags in tow. You might also be a hero like Brian who discovered some lost papers on his clean-up and is trying to connect them to their owners. Nice save, Brian.

I look forward to adding your name to our fine roster of dedicated Eliot Adopt-ablockers. So finish that coffee and call,
already, ‘k?

Adopt-A-Block Update: More, Please

I’m writing to thank all those adopt-a-blockers who kept up the good fight and did their best to keep Eliot’s streets clean this past spring.  Not easy dealing with the cold and wet, plus all the maneuvering between construction equipment that many of you are still enduring via our on-going sewer work.  But you did your neighborhood proud!  

Alas, there are still streets awaiting their loving adoption families… (so many still needed!) and we’d love to have you on board.  If you’re willing to spend a few minutes a day, or a bit longer once or twice a week to improve the area you call home, please contact Jody at jodyguth at gmail dot com. I’ll get you set up with trash bags, gloves, pickers, and lots of encouragement.  The added bonus is the drawing we hold every 3 months to determine who wins a $100.00 New Seasons gift certificate.  Who doesn’t like to shop at New Seasons?!

I had the pleasure of recently drawing our current winner with my trusty pal, Adrian. The latest number was lucky 16, and the recipient none other than Sue Stringer, a gal who does so much for our community… congratulations, Sue!! Besides being the editor of our Eliot News newspaper, Sue finds time to be a member of the Friends of NE 7th Avenue Greenway committee, is on the Eliot neighborhood board and is one of the fabulous organizers the 7th Avenue block party fame (between Russell and Brazee).  Sue is eager to join whatever she can to help make Eliot thrive.  While also working a full-time job, I’m never sure how she finds the time to get it all done. We’re just so glad she lives here! 

By Jody Guth

Adopt a Block Update—Changing of the Guard

By Lauren Mullen

Hello Eliot Neighbors, sadly, this will be my last Adopt-A-Block update for the Eliot News as I am moving. The good news is that Jody Guth will be taking on this program. Jody has been a member of the Eliot Community for 30 years! She is a much-loved dog walker whom you have undoubtedly seen around Eliot or Irvington. I met Jody when I was taking my dog, Jazper, on a walk, and the funny thing about that encounter was she was diligently picking up cigarette butts. It was raining, but that was not a deterrent. I thanked her for doing the clean-up and that was when I started picking up trash in earnest on my block.

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