Citywalk News for November

Now that we are in the midst of autumn and the temperature has dipped, we can’t sit back and wait for fair weather to get out to keep our community tidy. We must continue to pick up where others have lapsed in their courtesy.

Ferguson is lucky to have certain residents that notice an issue and take the matter into their own hands to correct the problem. Two of these residents, Ank and Susan Ankenbrand, when they would go out for their daily walk, noticed that Ferguson had a litter issue. So, during their walks they took it upon themselves to pick up the trash that they would happen across. The next day, they wanted to enjoy a leisurely walk to enjoy their beloved town when they noticed that when they walked down the street, that they picked up the day before, it was just as bad as it was during yesterday’s walk.

They got into the habit of bringing trash bags along on their walks and began making it a point of picking up the litter that disgraced our streets. The more they walked, the more they picked up. Soon the bags that they carried along their routes would be full and there would still be more to be picked up. But they just got more bags and continued picking up the rubbish that people would thoughtlessly leave behind.

As with many projects, the more you do, the more you learn. Soon, the Ankenbrands found that if they used those pinchers that were invented to retrieve objects from higher shelves would also work to pick up litter. Without having to bend over to pick up every little piece of paper, bottle, or can, they would just reach out with their pincher and drop the object in the bag. The fuller the bags got, the easier it was to rip out the bottom. They solved this problem by using empty dog food bags. These bags are reinforced to carry heavy weights of dog food, and they work great for rubbish too. ”These bags are great because I can use them multiple times without worrying about the bottom being ripped out”, says Susan. Ank adds, ”We simply cut a hole on the side of the bag and line the edges with duct tape which makes the bag easier to carry”.

The Ankenbrands have come to the conclusion that they cannot clean Ferguson single-handedly. They have begun a grass-roots effort to involve other like-minded residents to pick up and keep Ferguson a litter free community. If you would like to get involved with this group of citizens, you can contact Ank and Susan at rsank@sbcglobal.net.

If you remember how the city looked after the City-Wide Clean-up, you know what we can accomplish in one morning. Even though the city was close to litter free after that morning, this is not something that can be done once a year, we must carry on! Get involved.

I’ve also noticed a lot of chatter on one of Ferguson’s Social Media sites about our downtown. How can we help the business and building owners to get their businesses in tip top-shape? With the pandemic playing havoc with the economy of the small businesses that we count on in our downtown, what can the city offer as an incentive to make our downtown beautiful?

With a lot of businesses closing down, and companies allowing their workers to work from home, commercial real estate is going to be hurt because of the pandemic. Will the owners of the empty buildings be willing to work with small businesses allowing these businesses a short-term lease, or maybe split a building into an incubator of small businesses to share a space? We toured a building a little over a year ago where the space was split into small, two or three hundred square foot areas linked together by a common space. This worked out really well because not everyone is capable of setting up a business in their home, especially if you have clients visiting your business.

I don’t know where or what happened with all of the posts from the social media, but the first thing that needs to get done, is all of the boards need to come down. If glass needs to be replaced, replace it. That includes the Police Station! What kind of example are we setting if we can’t clean up our own house? After the boards are down and glass replaced if necessary, then the windows need to be decorated to what you want your business to portray. Take a look at Style-Tenasous at 427 South Florissant Road. When I drive by and look at their windows, I know exactly what they have to offer. We have a lot of work to get our downtown and city back to the vibrant main street it once was. Are you up to the challenge? I know you are. Get involved by getting Ferguson cleaned up, join us any time you have a chance to do your part. Talk to your elected officials and find out what they are doing to help our main street become the downtown you want, and if you have any ideas, tell them. As they say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, and neither will Ferguson, but we need to start somewhere. Will you be part of the renaissance?

fergusonmainstreet.org

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110 Church Street
Ferguson, MO 63135
(314) 524-5197
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