Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All We'll Need is U

Maybe you've said to yourself "Golly (insert your name here), I wish there were something I could do to make Norwich better." Might I suggest you've been saying that to the wrong person, you should be telling the mayor. Why not call his office today at 860-823-3742 and tell him you want to be a part of the One City Clean Up, OCCU, Saturday, May 21st.

Between now and then, you'll hear and read a lot about no-cost and low cost clean-up and fix up initiatives of all kinds to complement the start of the downtown economic redevelopment effort funded by the bond issue. And yes, three point three million dollars can go some ways to strengthening the heartbeat of the city, the Chelsea District, but there are a lot of other things we should do and can do before and during the start-ups of the new businesses, shops and restaurants that will be bringing new people to Norwich.

Quite frankly, we don't want visitors to get here today because there's more than enough junk and bits and pieces from a rough winter all across the city to scare 'em off before they even unpack. Spring cleaning is the next order of business and what are needed are helping hands, work gloves and trash bags. And we can get started next Saturday, the 23rd, when the Leffingwell House Museum celebrates Earth Day. From noon to four, join your neighbors in creating treasures from trash (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?) at the Repurposed Sculpture Exhibit. To learn more, call 860-887-9000.

Consider next Saturday a tune-up for the OCCU on May 21st. Starting at Howard Brown Park and working across downtown and beyond, Team Norwich volunteers will be picking up and fixing up whatever they can, wherever they can. This is the day we start to take back the largest city in New London County. This is when the over forty thousand of us who call Norwich home begin again to own the consequences of our actions and help one another get back on our feet.

Remember those discarded fast food wrappers over the week end you saw on Heritage Riverfront Walkway, and all that broken glass and other junk on the sidewalk on Water Street and elsewhere? Remember how you felt how 'somebody should do something.' That's you and me, Somebody One and sidecar. It has to start somewhere-if not us, then who; if not now, then when?

Call the Mayor's office and sign up for any of the different volunteer jobs that are being developed. We've got a lot of picking up and patching up to do and you can't have enough helpers. And when we're done with downtown, we'll move on to the next neighborhood, yours or maybe yours is the one after that. But don't worry, we'll get to it because we'll get to every neighborhood. We're starting in one place and we'll keep at it until we've gotten to every house on every street in our city. And once we get our clean on, we'll keep right on keeping that way.

We're expecting lots of company in the coming months and years. Norwich gained five thousand new residents in the past decade and we were just warming up. Who know how far we can go? The first 350 years were only a prologue, the best is yet to come. You don't want to miss this.
-bill kenny

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