EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

[ Update ]

Outreach Weekend Report

March 14-15, 2003

Contents:

Summary:

by Justin Placek, ESLARP Outreach Weekend Assistant

Once again an East St. Louis Action Research Project team hit the road to East St. Louis for another outreach work weekend on March 14th and 15th. The ESLARP team was composed of about 110 people, which included students and faculty from Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Prairienet, Leisure Studies, ESLARP, NTAC, LINC, Washington University Architecture Department, and a local Sorority group. These individuals combined with the local residents work extremely hard as a team to complete 4 projects. It was their dedication and hard work that allowed for the work weekend to be a success.

Reports:

Painting Pilgrim Temple Church

by Laura Lawson, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Landscape Architecture

It was a busy but fun-filled event to work with the community at Pilgrim Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Reverend Eduardo E. Spragg is relatively new to this congregation and has many wonderful ideas about ways to improve the church building and grounds. He stayed close by on both days to encourage students and church members.

Billie Turner made introductions and gave encouragement to all. Julius Walker supervised and guided students in the stripping, cleaning, and buffing of the Fellowship Hall. Several of the students described him as a born supervisor, possessing the right amount of expertise, good humor, and excellent memory for the students' names and capabilities.

Meanwhile, other students did various painting projects around the church. We painted the church doors - 7 in all. Two students - Stefania and Jennie - worked with Stephanie, one of the high school youth of the church. Saturday lunch was an outdoor feast of made by the parishioners. As we were leaving, Pastor Spragg gave us a copy of the next day's worship handout, which included a thank you for our work. We all hope to work at Pilgrim Temple again.


No Dumping Signs

by Stacy Harwood, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning

The No Dumping Sign group had a terrific weekend. The students constructed and posted eight "no dumping" signs in the South End neighborhood. The UIUC students and SENDO members want to discourage illegal dumping as well as encourage residents to report such activity to the police. In addition, the students met with a police officer to discuss criminal activity in the South End. Illegal dumping is difficult problem to stop because by the time the police arrive the culprit has fled. The police encourage residents to note the vehicle license number when reporting illegal dumping.


Wetland Restoration: Phase 1

by Deanna Koenigs, ESLARP Technology Coordinator

Kathy Andria from the American Bottoms Conservancy aquired 4 acres of abandoned land that frequently has standing water. This land is to be returned to its natural state as a wetland. Our group was to clear out trash that had been illegally dumped on that site for many years. The trash was located along a dead end road that is now forested on both sides.

Students pulled the trash out of the forest edge and into the middle of the road so that a bobcat could come and scoop it up and put it into the dumpsters. The tires were separated out so that the Illinois EPA could dispose of them properly. They are collecting tires because of mosquito breeding and the threat of West Nile Virus.

While it was a very dirty job, the students still had fun with it and maintained very good attitudes. After all, the site looked worse than when we started because the trash was piled even higher. The bobcat was to come the day after we left, so we never got to see the end result of our hard work.

I would like to thank the volunteers in my van: Patrick Hatch, Mary Parkhill, Rob Antequino, Nick Karcz, Bob Zimmerer, Ainur Fadhillah Ahmad Fuad, LoAn Nguyen, Daniela Marcus, and Michelle McGee.


Farmer's Market Clean-up

by Martin Wolske, Manager of Research System Services & Instructor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Volunteers working at the Farmer's Market during the March work weekend spent time pulling weeds, cutting down volunteer trees, cleaning up broken bottles and discarded trash, and cleaning out the flower boxes. There was enough trash that midway through Friday afternoon we were already out of trash bags, while the weeds were piled into a sizeable mound off to the side. Not only was the group able to clear the main selling area under the roof, but the parking lot to the west was also cleared of garbage and weeds. A number of community members stopped to express appreciation; one even dropped off a case of Mountain Dew.

More photos from the weekend.

Document author(s) : listed above
Last modified: 21 March 2003, Deanna Koenigs
EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT