Clean and Beautiful: Advocacy group plans second neighborhood clean-up event in Mount Pleasant

Community advocacy group Clean and Beautiful Cleveland Block2Block envisions exactly what the group’s name says: cleaner, more beautiful streets and city neighborhoods.

Block2Block founder Nancy Jones, group members, and volunteers will be in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood on Saturday, June 3, picking up trash, planting flowers, and laying mulch on Kinsman Avenue from East 131st Street to East 154th Street.

“We plan to plant perennials and mulch all of the approximately 200 tree lawn beds,” Jones says emphatically. “The tree lawn beds in this area have been unattended for many decades, [so] we are trying to revitalize, inspire, motivate, and uplift the community of Mt. Pleasant and eventually the entire city, region, and beyond!”

The group of volunteers will plant Hosta, black-eyed Susan, cone flowers, and daylilies.

“We envision a litter-free Northeast Ohio, where beautiful flowers and trees are planted throughout, and people are organized and educated and caring for the environment—where the environment is healthy and thriving.”

Block2Block’s first community cleanup event was held on April 29 along Kinsman Corridor, where they also taught a five-week pilot course on litter reduction and beautification to second, third, fourth, and fifth graders at A.J. Rickoff School.

Clean and Beautiful Cleveland Block2Block community advocacy teamClean and Beautiful Cleveland Block2Block community advocacy team“Our Cleanup on April 29 was a huge success,” says Jones. “Over 50 volunteers showed up and we cleaned Kinsman from East 154th all the way to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard by noon.” 

Jones says they have invited Cleveland mayor Justin Bibb to the June 3 clean up and they have the support of three council members, as well as several churches, businesses, and community organizations.

“Our intention is to clean and beautify all of Cleveland and ultimately the entire region,” Jones says, adding that Cleveland councilperson Joe Jones has hinted that he wants Block2Block to come to his ward next. “We hope the idea begins to spread!”

Jones, who lives in Shaker Heights, has been working on litter reduction in Cleveland since 2019. She formed Clean and Beautiful Cleveland-Block2Block last August with the support of her sister, South Euclid resident Pam Rhodes, and Cleveland resident Tracy Bellum.

“Our mission is to educate communities on the prevention and reduction of litter and to organize city-led cleanups and beautifications,” explains Jones. “We seek to minimize the impact of litter on people, the environment, and the economy.”

The three women won a $3,500 Neighbor Up Action Grant last August under the name the “Cleveland Litter Reduction and Beautification Project,” which Jones says Bellum was “instrumental” in getting,

The grant allowed the group to empower students to envision a more beautiful Mount Pleasant and to brainstorm and implement ways to clean up and maintain the community.

Jones changed the name to Clean & Beautiful Cleveland-Block2Block in February before they pitched their cause at Accelerate 2023. Block2Block was named a finalist in the Quality of Life category—taking home $2,000 for their mission. The group also recently received a MyCom grant.

The Mount Pleasant beautification event is on Saturday, June 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers and donations are still needed. Volunteers will meet at New Sardis Primitive Baptist Church, 3474 E. 147th St.

Jones says the day will “likely be a very inspirational moment for a community that struggles with many issues” as they instill community pride and beauty into the neighborhood.

Karin Connelly Rice
Karin Connelly Rice

About the Author: Karin Connelly Rice

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.