New Police Recruits, Block Captains and Volunteers Really Bring it for Basura Bash

The 6th Annual Basura Bash was even better with the team of new Milwaukee Police Officers helping out every step of the way. They weren’t the only ones needed to make the event a success though. Literally hundreds of volunteers participated in the broad community improvement effort that centered around Walkers Square Park. Men from Felmers Chaney led by Sgt. Moore took care of cooking up a healthy and nutritious Fiesta Fresh Mexican Salad. Paul Grippe, the Southside Block Council Representative, coordinated volunteers and helped setup the stage for performances. Students from MATC and Bryant Stratton college also came to help youth from the United Community Center and Milwaukee Christian Center conduct Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design oriented projects. Volunteers showed up in the week leading up to the event to conduct neighborhood outreach. These are just a few of the many individuals and organizations that made the event a success.

Activities for Basura Bash included garbage cleanup, tire and graffiti removal, alley and building identification numbering, vacant lot clean ups, recycling, and a wonderful flower planting project at the park. Over 600 bags of trash were cleared and 40 garages were numbered with volunteers contributing 300 plus hours of community service!

Perhaps the best part was the fiesta at the park. Lots of games and activities, like football and face painting, kept the children happy. Plenty of resource providers were on hand to give summer program information, for example the Milwaukee Public Library’s Summer Super Reader program. DJ Monk led the day coordinating the various acts and announcing the different activities. Performances included the United Community Center youth performing traditional dances. Ital Caribe was on stage drumming and engaged children and parents in a drum circle. A surprise performance by Legacy Musik completed the days entertainment. Over 350 people attended and everyone was able to get a Basura Bash t-shirt and a healthy and nutritious Basura Bash Fiesta Taco Salad. The weather was great, volunteers spectacular, the entertainment a blast, food was delicious; all of it came together for an inspirational Southside community building experience.

Many individuals and organizations contributed to this wonderful effort. We are grateful for assistance of our major event sponsor, the Department of Neighborhood Services. Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and the Milwaukee County Parks also supplied significant resources and expertise to make the day a success. Additionally, generous cash and in-kind donations were received from County Supervisor West, Alderman Perez, McDonalds, Monterrey Market, Starbucks Coffee, Lopez Bakery, McDonalds, Lowes, Pick-n-Save, DJ Monk, United Community Center youth dancers and Legacy Musik. Long-time resident and committed president of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Association, Linda Zinke, also contributed $100.00 to support the event.

Michael Britten, Safe & Sound intern from Corroll University, worked with Safe & Sound Community Partner Organizer Maritza Ugarte to plan the event. Other staff from Safe & Sound also contributed to make the day fun, including Julie Kritzeck who helped manage the purchases and donations. Collaborators included Milwaukee Police District 2 led by Captain Pixley which supplied the mounted patrol, 11 newly recruited and trained officers, auxiliary officers and our own Community Liaison Officer, Jesus Gloria. Paul Grippe, Southside City-Wide Block Watch Council Representative helped with planning and took a hands-on role throughout. The Department of Public Works provide 2 free dumpsters for debris. Sgt. Moore and Felmers-Chaney provided a team of volunteers as they have every year to ensure great food and excellent service experience to attendees.

Check-out the pictures, smile and enjoy!

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