In a recent Oregonian article dated April 3, 2021, Steve Duin introduced us to Frank Moscow, the founder of Adopt One Block.
“When Moscow (…) moved into downtown Portland in 2016, he was both frustrated and insulted by the trashing of the city. ‘Two motions are involved in cleaning up the city: getting it clean and keeping it clean,’ Moscow says. (…) ‘There has to be a repetitive motion for keeping a place clean. That led me to Adopt One Block. It enables people to care for the block they love the most, with cleaning materials we supply. That means no meet-up. No driving to volunteer. No organization to join. No fundraising. We supply the tools and the support.’
Adopt One Block launched six months ago. More than 2,200 city blocks have been adopted. Once you enlist at adoptoneblock.org, Moscow delivers the grabber tool, the heavy plastic bags, the red bucket for used needles, and the work gloves, all for free. The initial clean-up may take several hours, the subsequent sweeps far less time.”
As of April 23, 2021 more than one third of the blocks in Sunnyside have been adopted through Adopt One Block, as you can see on the attached map. The areas in grey have been adopted; thin white lines around grey areas denote known adopters; areas in black still need adoption. Check sunnysideportland.org for an updated map.
When adopting a block, you are adopting a roundabound route around the block, staying on the same side of the street. Other adopters will clean the other sides of each street on your route. The website will also let you reshape an adopted route in order to accommodate more complex areas that are missing cross streets. If you decide to adopt and need help reshaping your route on the website, contact the SNA Cleanup Coordinator for help.
Adopt One Block (adoptoneblock.org) is a charitable endeavor and is entirely free to adopters. As an adopter, you can request free supplies through your account including a trash picker and bags.
If you are an existing adopter or decide to adopt a block after reading this article, our Cleanup Coordinator would love to hear from you (if he hasn’t yet)! For privacy reasons, Adopt One Block is not authorized to share this information directly with us. Getting this information from you and maintaining a list of adopters within Sunnyside will let us improve collaboration and coordination among adopters as well as offer local support. So far, about 10 adopters have made themselves known but we would like to hear from more. On the map, the blocks of known adopters are identified with a thin white line around their adopted block (grey areas). Your adoption information will not be shared publicly, but knowing about you will allow our Cleanup Coordinator to privately connect adopters of neighboring blocks if they both choose.
How often you clean your route depends on its location and how quickly litter accumulates. Most residential routes might only need a monthly cleaning, but routes near commercial corridors often need more regular cleanings – weekly or “every 2 weeks”. Making yourself known to the SNA Cleanup Coordinator as an adopter also presents an opportunity for us to help you connect with nearby neighbors in these higher need areas if they are willing to take turns on these more frequent routes.
To enlist or manage your block adoption (including adopting a second block or releasing your block if you can no longer cleanup), visit adoptoneblock.org.
To make yourself known to the SNA as an adopter, or if you ever need help with disposing of excess trash, dealing with larger items that have been dumped, needles or biohazard cleanup, please contact Vincent Dawans, SNA Cleanup Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.