USG launches Adopt a Block initiative

adopt-a-block

By Bob Cunningham

BGSU’s Undergraduate Student Government is talking trash, and they want other students to join the fun.

USG has created an Adopt a Block program in which students or student organizations can adopt a block in the city of Bowling Green and keep it clean from litter and debris. The program will debut at the beginning of the fall semester.

“Adopt a Block is a great opportunity for BGSU students and the residents of the Bowling Green community to connect on a common goal,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D.,  president of Bowling Green State University. “This initiative will create a wonderful legacy for future student involvement in the community.”

“Adopt a Block is a great opportunity for BGSU students and the residents of the Bowling Green community to connect on a common goal,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D.,  president of Bowling Green State University. “This initiative will create a wonderful legacy for future student involvement in the community.”

The 10 city blocks near Bowling Green’s downtown and the western border of the University will be the focus of the program. 

Here are some simple guidelines to follow for Adopt a Block:

Participants are asked to pick up trash on the median and the curb and to stay out of residents’ yards. Adopters must tend to their blocks at least once a month. They are asked to plan to pick up trash on the first Saturday of each month, with the third Saturday as backup plan for bad weather and scheduling conflicts. The program will provide cleaning supplies.

Trash should be taken to the dumpster behind the Bowling Green Fire Division on the corner of Thurstin Avenue and Court Street. Recycling can be dropped off at the Bowling Green Recycling Center located at 850 W. Poe Road. If transportation for recycling is an issue, contact the USG three days before the scheduled cleanup time so other arrangements can be made.

“What the students would be doing in claiming their block is community service,” USG Vice President Danielle Parker said. “Just picking up litter in the median area between the sidewalk and the road helps build a relationship with the city, community members and students and student groups.” 

Parker said when she and Victor Senn, president of USG, took office in spring of 2015, one of their platforms was “community citizenship.”

“We were trying to think of ways that we can be more active with the BG community and ways the BG community could be more active with BGSU,” Parker said. “We were thinking, what’s a good program, what’s something we can start that’s new and exciting and would keep students interested? Something that we can really buy into and have a stake in the community.”

Parker said Lisa Mattiace, President Mazey’s chief of staff, came up with the name and idea. 

“We thought, ‘What a cool name,’ and we took that back to our office and started hashing out the details of what it would look like and if it was even possible,” Parker said. “We made a few phone calls and got some meetings, and everyone was incredibly excited and supportive of it. We’ve just been working with it ever since.”

Parker said it’s easy to sign up for Adopt a Block. Just go to BGSU’s TOMS Campus Club website and enter the organization’s name and a point of contact and claim a block from a drop-down box.

The program is starting with 10 blocks but USG hopes the program grows to allow for more blocks to be adopted, Parker said. Three or four blocks already been claimed.

After a semester of participation, the city will acknowledge the organizations with an identifier on a street sign on the block.

“It’s kind of a recognition piece for the students and the community that this block is part of a really great program,” Parker said. 

Find more information about the Adopt a Block program.