Thursday, May 22, 2014

Clean Up Norristown Week

The Norristown Project declared May 21-30 CleanUpNorristown Week (technically 10 days, but since we'll lose a few days due to rain, it ends up being a week anyway). In today's Diary, I thought I'd post some updates to big cleanups going on around N-town. Maybe that will inspire everyone to tackle a small cleanup at their own home or possibly help out a neighbor.

First, Selma Mansion (Airy and Selma Sts.) is in Phase 2 of its exterior restoration. Remember last fall when the Norristown Preservation Society had carpenters and painters repair and refinish the exterior wood of the top 2 floors on the 1794 mansion? This month the workmen are back, repairing wood on the back porch and around the front entrance, and painting all the first floor wood. As more funds are raised, the plan is to repair the stucco. You'll be able to help the NPS raise money by coming to the History Day Festival at Selma next month on June 28th. Put it on your calendar and watch for forthcoming details.

Riverfront Park, as you probably know, took a major hit in the flood of April 30th. Our Dragon Boat Club has been putting forth a Herculean effort to clear the mud from the park and make it look great again, despite the distraction of having to retrieve one boat from a tree and another that was submerged. They're still working at getting their boathouse with its mural, Puff the Magic Dragon, out of the Schuylkill where it landed west of the DeKalb Street Bridge. The good news is that the dragon boats have been returned to the landing at Riverfront.

A lot of other organizations, if they hadn't simply thrown up their hands and quit, would have at least cancelled or postponed their events at the park this season, but not the DBC. They had planned to co-host an International Wine Festival along with the Norristown Business Association at Riverfront on Friday, June 13 and they say the event is still on. As you can see by the photos, the past couple weeks they've been busy turning mud into flower beds and planters.
You can help the DBC a few ways. Along with the NBA, they're hosting a Flea Market in the parking lot at Airy and DeKalb both Saturday and Sunday this weekend from 8 to 2. Show up and support the vendors who are supporting the Dragon Boat Club (and I assume they'll be selling things, too). The weather's supposed to be decent, especially in the morning. I'll be there Saturday. Second, The Norristown Project will be assisting with cleanup work at Riverfront Park starting at 3 pm on Sunday the 25th and volunteers are welcome. Drive out Haws Avenue toward the river, under the overpass and you're there. Third, put the June 13th Wine Festival on your calendar now.

The Norristown Project will also gather for a community cleanup at Elmwood Park at 9 am on Saturday the 24th. Elmwood recently had a cleanup on Earth Day, when the municipality also painted the bandshell, so hopefully that won't be as labor-intensive as Riverfront. Still, let's make sure it looks good for the start of summer.

As I said at the beginning, TNP is encouraging residents to cleanup around the outsides of homes and apartment buildings. As soon as the rain lets up, I intend to rake and prune my front garden bed. If your house already looks beautiful, consider helping elderly or disabled neighbors clean their front yards. If organizations like the Dragon Boat Club, the Norristown Project and the Preservation Society can take on big cleanups around town, the rest of us ought to at least tend to our own smaller spaces.

And, while you're cleaning up around your house, if you find any hazmat collection materials (see the list on the county website), put them aside to bring to the Hazmat Collection at Norristown Area High School next Saturday, May 31st, from 9-3.

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