On an early Saturday morning in April, ten PCC students from the Southeast Center joined local business owners and neighbors in Southeast Portland to collect more than 540 pounds of garbage and remove graffiti on buildings in the Jade District.
The two-hour event was organized by the Jade District, a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) district established by the City of Portland in 2011. The NPI is a public/private partnership that aims to transform underserved commercial districts in east Portland into engines of economic growth without displacing the communities that reside there. Stanley Moy, the district manager for the Jade District, said that the group cleaned up parking lots, picked up cigarette butts and removed graffiti along business buildings, public signs and bus stops, covering ten blocks along Southeast 82nd Avenue.
“We had about 30 volunteers, half of them were PCC students, helping us collect 18 bags of trash and remove 10 graffiti sites along 82nd Avenue,” said Moy. “PCC students made a big impact on helping to improve the Jade District Businesses as well as the surrounding community.”
“The PCC students that participated were glad to be part of the larger community here in Southeast Portland,” said Naomi Barbos, an ASPCC leader at Southeast Center who helped to recruit PCC students for the clean up event. “They spent a lot of their time picking up cigarette butts on and around the perimeters of the Southeast Center. We were glad to do our part for the college and the community, but would really like to see smokers clean up after themselves, instead of leaving it to volunteers to do.”