Photos courtesy of the city of Gulfport
For the second year in a row, the mayors of St. Petersburg and Gulfport met at the cities’ boundary on 49th Street to clean up the trash and talk about common ground. Gulfport Neighbor’s Mayors’ 49th Street Cleanup, Saturday October 3, saw participants from both city administrations, including Gulfport council members and St. Petersburg’s Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, as well as law enforcement officers and residents from both cities.
“For a second year we had a great turnout,” said Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson, “and a real showing of community spirit from residents and officials on both sides of the 49th Street Corridor. This spirit and the relationships behind it are worth keeping. It makes both our cities stronger, and keeps us connected in a positive and personal way.”
The all-volunteer army of trash pickers walked 49th Street Saturday morning, eventually collecting a whopping 671 pounds of trash according to Gulfport Neighbors President Margarete Tober. The event, she says, is part of a movement of greater awareness and growing pride in the corridor.
“We have seen great progress since the event last year in terms of businesses doing a much better job of ensuring their properties are kept clean,” she said. “We don’t see nearly the amount of litter that we saw in the past. As well, multiple businesses have worked to rehab, spruce up and/or improve their physical properties. Much of all of this is due to the efforts of Gulfport Police Department Community Resource Officer Zack Mills and his St. Petersburg Police counterpart, Community Liaison Officer Caran Patrick.”
It’s a team effort Gulfport Neighbors and city officials on both sides of the street hope will remain a priority.
“Both communities are committed to our continuing efforts of collaboration in the 49th Street Corridor,” said Tober, “so I am confident we will see even more accomplishments in the coming year.”
Immediately following the Mayors’ Cleanup was “Chiefs’ Chat,” a community forum with Gulfport Police Chief Rob Vincent and St. Petersburg Police Chief Tony Holloway.