Volunteers Beautify Downtown at Streetscape Event


By Donny Yankle

Over the weekend, about 660 volunteers came together to beautify, preserve and revitalize Youngstown as part of CityScape’s 19th annual Streetscape event.

Organizers assigned volunteers tasks to complete downtown, in Wick Park and Crandall Park. They planted new flowers, mulched and cleaned up the downtown area.

Sharon Letson, executive director of Youngstown CityScape, said the project has grown over the years. IMG_3366 (Photo Courtesy of- Donny Yankle)

“There are many hard-working people that give the downtown area a refreshed look for the summer,” Letson said. “We are always excited to clean up the area and happy that so many volunteers return each year.”

She said she was happy with the turnout, which was the highest in the event’s history.

“There was a better turnout than expected as we almost ran out of t-shirts for the volunteers,” Letson said.

Taylor Phillips, a graduate student at Youngstown State University, volunteered for the second time with the student organization YSUScape, which participates in the event every year. This year they pulled weeds and spread mulch near the Erie Terminal building.

“I always look forward to volunteering for this event,” Phillips said. “This city is very important to me, and it is enlightening that many people from the community came together to help make Youngstown beautiful.”

Phillips said other students donated their time and effort as well.

“It is important that the campus is connected with the downtown community. With volunteers increasing each year,” Phillips said. “[The event] has the makings of covering a larger area into the future.”

Donna Sizemore, director of development at Ohio North HOBY, brought 181 sophomore students to clean the Wick Park area. The Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership program develops high school students to become effective leaders.

“A city or community can’t prosper unless its citizens take care of it,” Sizemore said.

This marks the first year that CityScape partnered with HOBY. Following the workday, CityScape held a luncheon to recognize the volunteers and donors who supported the event.