DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)–A group is trying to get people to sweep up some messes around their neighborhood. Beautify Decatur Coalition started an initiative to get businesses to clean up the city’s streets. Now they have hundreds of businesses committed to the cause.
“A clean city is a happy city,” said Michael Jesse with Jesse Tax Services. Jesse wants to keep Decatur’s spirits up. He is one of hundreds of business owners committed to keeping the streets clean. It’s part of an initiative by Beautify Decatur Coalition. “The No Litter Zone, we go to business owners or managers and ask if they will sign a pledge, and the pledge states they will everyday monitor and pick up any litter on or around the perimeter of their property,” said Jill Davis, Beautify Decatur Coalition Co-Chair. “Mainly just raising awareness for other people that everyone makes a difference,” said Jesse.
Beautify Decatur Coalition started the initiative in 2012, and getting businesses signed up is an ongoing effort. About five new businesses join a month. Now, they have almost 600 that have agreed to do their part. “Everyday all it takes is like five or ten minutes to clean up around your place,” said Jesse. This is just one of many ways people are tidying up their neighborhoods. Last year the city boarded up 155 properties and demolished 60 properties, more than any other year since 2009. “It’s everyone’s responsibility. The earth is our home. Decatur is our home and we need to keep our home beautiful and clean,” said Davis. Beautify Decatur Coalition also has neighborhood and school cleanups. They’re also working with the City of Decatur for Adopt a Street and Adopt a Green Space projects.