On Sunday May 20, more nearly 40 school parents, kids and neighbors pitched in to restore the grounds of Alameda Elementary School—one of the original buildings in the neighborhood at 27th and NE Fremont St and for many, the heart of the community. For some families, multiple generations have attended Alameda school.
Though the grounds are managed by Portland Public Schools, with years of budget cuts and building concerns in the forefront "anything beyond safety or mowing hasn't been much of a priority, so it's up to the our community to show our (school) pride and care for it" said parent organizer Dana Peterson.
As they pulled weeds and trimmed side-by-side parents and neighbors struck up conversations. Soon I found myself conversing with Ron, an Alameda alumnus class of 1957 and a long time Alameda resident who participates every year, bringing his pick-up truck full of tools. Ron (pictured above in the cowboy hat with volunteers) shared that he enjoys giving back to the school and seeing the next generation of students get involved because he notes: volunteering is a life-long habit.
It was wonderful to watch my first grader, encouraged by the promise of pizza at the end, working alongside classmates and adults to pick-up trash, pull weeds and spread bark on the playground. After the clean-up volunteers gathered in front of the school for pizza and took a few moments in the shade to admire our work.
Alameda PTA has been organizing the cleanup for several years and 2018 was the first time the Alameda Neighborhood Association has been a partner assisting with reaching out to neighbors and providing pizza and a sweet incentive: a popsicle party for the class with the most volunteers. Thanks to Dana Peterson, Aimee Samuelson the Alameda PTA, the ANA Board and Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods for making this event a success!