EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

[ Update ]

Outreach Weekend Report

October 17-18, 2003

Contents:

Summary

by Justin Placek, ESLARP Outreach Weekend Assistant

On the weekend of October 17th a group of 95 students and staff traveled down to East St. Louis to engage in different neighborhood projects. The ESLARP Team included students from Urban Planning, Library and Information Science, Social Work, and general volunteers. They worked with each other and with residents to complete the following projects: Alta Sita Youth Planning Activity, Community Theatre, 41st Street Cleanup, Aspirations Shed, Operation Clean Sweep, and the painting of the NTAC Ramp. The students, staff, and residents hard work and commitment helped this ESLARP Outreach weekend be a monumental success.

Youth Planning Activity at Alta Sita Elementary School

by Jennifer Forbes, Urban Planning Teaching Assistant

Stacy Harwood's UP260 class spent Friday afternoon working with Alta Sita Elementary students on a youth planning activity. Students in grades 1-5 were asked about their favorite places, least favorite places, and favorite people within the Alta Sita community. Each student was given a piece of drawing paper and asked to draw his/her favorite place, least favorite place, and a picture of his/her ideal neighborhood. Each student then presented his/her drawing to the class. At the end of the day, everyone enjoyed cookies and juice.

Physical Structure Survey in Alta Sita

by Jennifer Forbes, Urban Planning Teaching Assistant

Stacy Harwood's UP260 students conducted a physical structure survey within the Alta Sita neighborhood. Students were split up into groups with each group being assigned a specific section of the community to map. Groups were responsible for mapping the location, describing the physical condition, and taking pictures of each structure. While walking around the neighborhood, students enjoyed meeting and interacting with local residents.

41st Street Cleanup

by Justin Placek, ESLARP Outreach Weekend Assistant

This is a beautification project that will have to be completed on a couple of ESLARP Outreach work weekends. In the future this neighborhood will be creating a neighborhood park that will include: playgrounds, picnic areas, small ball diamonds, basketball courts, etc…

This weekend was the first phase in which: 17 LIS students, 4 volunteers, 3 staff members, and numerous residents worked extremely hard to remove trees and debris from a marshy area. On Friday we cleaned up a lot of debris and piled it on one end of the site. Also, students trimmed trees and mowed grass on one end of the site. Saturday is when the site began to drastically change. Bruce Wicks had his chain saw running non-stop for about 5 ½ hours. Meanwhile the students were constantly dragging the recently cut down trees out of the marshy area and placing them into large piles. Students worked extremely hard in poor conditions in order to make sure that this project was a success. Everyone working on this site got extremely wet, muddy, and encountered numerous patches of poison ivy.

We would also like to thank the residents of the 41st St. Neighborhood group for providing a wonderful lunch on Saturday. It was one of the best lunches that we have had in a while.

Operation Clean Sweep

Operation Clean Sweep is a project brought forth by the residents of the Lansdowne Neighborhood. They have been working for the last month in cleaning up the entire neighborhood. They are now reaching the end of this part of the project and the students who are on this project will help them to wrap it up. The students will be conducting a survey that includes general questions about the neighborhood as well as the Clean Sweep Project.

Community Theatre

The Community Theatre is located in Centreville and is managed by Christina and Eddie Fisher. About two years ago this theatre burnt down and the Fishers have been working hard to reconstruct a new theatre. On previous ESLARP Outreach Weekends students and staff deconstructed the inside of a warehouse in St. Louis for Jassen Johnson's company called Integration. Wood, lights, shelves, and ductwork from the warehouse was donated to the Community Theatre from ESLARP and Jassen Johnson's company. These materials helped the Fishers to construct the new theatre. This weekend students will help the Fisher's hang, tape, and mud drywall inside the Community Theatre.

East St. Louis Public Library

Students on this site will get to tour the East St. Louis Public Library with the Head Librarian, Cynthia Jones. Also, these students will assist Mrs. Jones on web updating and grant writing.

Painting the NTAC Ramp

Students and staff constructed the NTAC ramp on an ESLARP Outreach Weekend in Sept. of 2001. This weekend we had planned to paint the NTAC ramp but again it had to be cancelled. Bobby (at NTAC) knew we planned to paint it but didn't have the volunteers to do it he did it Saturday! It looks great. This was way above and beyond his job at NTAC. We want to let him know how much he is appreciated.

Aspirations Adult Day Care Storage Shed

Students and staff will be working with Loretta and Delbert Shipp in constructing a 10' X 20' storage shed. This shed will be used to store materials for the Adult Day Care Center, Aspirations, as well as a few things for their deli, Munchies. This is a project that will be completed over two outreach weekends with the first phase getting completed this weekend. Phase 1 includes: ripping out a small area of existing asphalt, digging the area for the concrete slab, framing this area, pouring the concrete, and finishing the concrete. This will enable us to be ready for phase 2, which is the construction of the storage shed.

More photos from the weekend.

Document author(s) : Listed Above
Last modified: 29 September 2003, Deanna Koenigs

EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT