Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 4, 2012

HIGGS: Cheers for the Niagara Beautification Commission

Niagara Gazette — This past week there was not much to cheer about but I still remain confident we will overcome our “disaster budget” and move on to better days. Some people are naysayers and negative about everything that happens around here and that creates an atmosphere of pessimism. It is always easier to think that way rather than come up with solutions. I am still in my cheerleading mood and will continue this week with NBC.

Solutions occur when citizens get together to make things better, even if it is just for a day to clean a vacant lot or by joining or assisting an active group such as the Niagara Beautification Commission (NBC) which provides countless hours performing what some would think are small chores in several areas of the city but are really big improvements in small areas.

A few years ago, Marge Gillies, the leader of NBC and Claudia Folsom with Habitat for Humanity got together and decided to recruit others to help them paint the guardrail along Whirlpool Street which had sat neglected for many years. It seemed to be one of those places that sat in limbo as no one would claim responsibility of this stretch. We never did bother to find out whom to ask for permission, we just did it. It was a major job but completed by many hands, many donated gallons of paint, many rollers, and many hours as we worked our way from the aquarium to the Whirlpool Bridge. We were encouraged as cars tooted horns in passing by with thumbs up signs and strangers joined in to help. We at NBC are closely watching its condition and may have to rally forth in a year or so again.

Each April during Beautify Niagara, NBC organizes several thousand volunteers to perform big improvements in designated small areas throughout the city. This started in my early years with NBC when it was a part of the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce and called Clean Sweep. It has grown to monumental proportions and has generated around thirteen hundred persons of all ages and backgrounds. Various sponsors are also involved to provide clean up supplies and refreshments. Save the date — April 20, 2013.

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