Last Saturday I had the pleasure of shooting some real and much needed cleaning of my old hometown: Niles, Ohio. Many of the current residents are fed up with the disrepair and failing economy of their city. So this group of volunteers took to the streets to clean it themselves. Literally. And work hard, they certainly did! Several of the streets in the downtown area were edged, raked, and swept. Over four truckloads of garbage, slag, and yard waste were gathered and disposed. Check out this before and after shot of one of the sidewalks on Robbins Avenue.

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Lots and lots of people came out to help clean the streets. Many of them local members of the Evening Light Apostolic Church in Niles.

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Even the Niles High School Key Club came out to lend a hand. While I was taking their pictures, they were watching a man smoke a cigarette right near where they had just cleaned. One of the girls said, “That guy better EAT that cigarette when he’s done with it. I just cleaned that area!”

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It was so nice to see all of the little ones out there. They are so cute!

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Niles definitely has potential. Just look at the beauty it already has…

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The group responsible for putting together this First Annual Sweep & Clean is the Niles Community Enhancement Committee. If you are interested in helping next year or with any of their events, please visit their website or contact one of their members, including Shawn Crank, Jackie (English) Altobelli, Cindy Weddell, and Linda Bennett. They frequently attend the semi-monthly Niles City Council meetings in an effort to better their city. Hats off to them!

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Big THANKS to everyone that came out to help! You did a great job! -kw

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