By Brad Donohue

Spring is in the air, and maybe it’s hard to tell, but all across Portland neighborhoods, people are talking about ‘Spring Clean-up’, and Montavilla is no exception.

I’ve heard that there are Baseball enthusiasts who go down to Arizona in February to watch Spring Training exercises, (or maybe just for the warm weather). Likewise, SEUL, SE Uplift, recently hosted a Spring Cleanup Coordinator Kick-off event, one agenda item being to “Get the scoop on changes and new policies for the program, including returning Intake Forms, recycling programs, and upcoming changes next year”.

Dylan Peerenboom attended on behalf on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA). No matter what part of town or neighborhood you live, you can participate in one of the many Clean-Up Days hosted by neighborhood associations and community groups around the city.

Last fall the MNA put on a successful clean-up event in the parking lot of the Montavilla Church on SE 92nd, where we introduced polystyrene (Styrofoam) recycling. Volunteers from the MNA, the church and SE Uplift worked together to make it happen. Our next meeting is on March 11, 6:30 pm at Montavilla United Methodist Church, 232 SE 80th Ave. Come and let us know if you want to help out.

Speaking of our next meeting, Jonathan Lewis along with Teri Poppino of Office of Community & Civic Life, will be speaking on the topic of Crime Prevention. Jonathan works with the City of Portland, Homelessness/Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program. Wow, that’s a mouthful, and it sounds controversial. While Jonathan has the responsibility to enforce no-camping ordinances, perhaps he can offer us an insider’s perspective on working with the homeless.

The focus for the community meeting is on how best we can interact with situations that you might find yourself in; what rights do they have, what rights do we have? What do we do when problems or conflicts arise, or we feel unsafe? Solving the homeless/houseless crisis is at the very least going to take people working together. So we look forward to seeing you. We are still looking for neighbors to volunteer to serve on the Board, or perhaps take up other responsibilities.