The Throggs Neck Merchants Association is cleaning up East Tremont Avenue, one tree bed at a time.
The association hosted its first beautification project on Sunday, August 30 on Tremont near Lafayette Avenue.
The clean-up crew included TNMA president Stephen Kaufman and Community Board 10 vice-chair John Marano, alongside TNMA board members Hussein Nouri and Geri Colon.
They removed trash and weeds from four of the tree beds before enriching the beds with mulch and flowers purchased by the merchants association.
“It was disgusting,” said Kaufman of the tree beds. “They became garbage pails.”
He hopes that the improved conditions will deter people from littering, and that shoppers will respect the neighborhood more.
“You hope the kids and everyone else will think twice before throwing garbage on the ground,” said Marano.
The adjacent businesses including Rite Aid, Vito’s Pizzeria and Guys and Dolls have agreed to maintain the newly planted tree beds in front of their stores.
Sunday’s project is just the beginning, said Kaufman, the association hopes more merchants will welcome the effort as it spreads along the avenue.
And although the tree beds are technically city property, Marano hopes merchants throughout the neighborhood will start taking responsibility for keeping them clean alongside the sidewalks they already maintain.
“It reflects on them also,” he said.
The first clean up was a great start, made possible by the board members who dedicated their Sunday to pulling weeds and planting flowers.
“Our volunteers are wonderful,” said Kaufman.
The clean-up effort is important because it fits into the association’s mission to support business in the area.
“It’s our concern to make Tremont Avenue look beautiful so people come and shop,” said Kaufman.
As Tremont Avenue is beautified, it will allow local residents to take even more pride in the neighborhood, said Marano.
He encouraged individuals or merchants who would like to join the clean-up effort to contact the merchants association.
The Alley Cat Cafe at 3604 E,. Tremont Avenue provided the volunteers a free lunch to thank them for their very noticable sidewalk improvements.