More than 300 volunteers turned out yesterday to clean up trash and debris in the Park Heights area.
The event, called Unify to Beautify, was sponsored by the Northwest Baltimore Corp. and the Maryland Minority Contractors Association.
"We have to take back our streets and our communities; I think it's wonderful that local politicians came out to support the effort. However, we are the ones who ... live here," said Clarence Pittman, who is transportation coordinator for I Can't, We Can, a drug treatment group based in West Baltimore.
Among officials participating in the cleanup were City Council President Sheila Dixon, Council Vice President Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake and representatives from Mayor Martin O'Malley's office.
I Can't, We Can was one of several organizations that donated tools, trucks, supplies and transportation vehicles. Other donors included contractors such as L&J; Construction Co. and P. Flanigan & Sons.
The cleanup was the first phase of a neighborhood beautification program, which will include educating residents about maintaining their property.
Ted Laster, development coordinator for Northwest Baltimore Corp., said he was happy that sanitation problems were being tackled and hoped issues such as substandard housing would also be addressed.