ST. PAUL - With a notable increase in graffiti being seen around St. Paul over the last few months, a group of youth decided to step up and managed to clean 15 sites throughout St. Paul on July 22.
The St. Paul Youth Council organized the event alongside the Town of St. Paul FCSS, Community Futures St. Paul-Smoky Lake, and Champions for Change. The group took to the streets over the course of about two hours on Wednesday afternoon, using special cleaning products and wearing the proper protective equipment to get the job done.
"We were able to address 15 sites containing graffiti and remove the paint applied there or paint over the area," said FCSS director Lynn Smid. "We were grateful to have six St. Paul Youth Council members, three summer student workers, and nine community members participate," said Smid.
Town of St. Paul Mayor Maureen Miller and Coun. Nathan Taylor were also involved in the initiative, along with some FCSS staff.
The issue of graffiti has come up a couple of times at recent Town of St. Paul council meetings. And while the mayor says she was happy to help with the initiative, it truly was the youth, alongside Coun. Taylor, who brought the pieces together.
Taylor credits the youth for stepping forward with the idea and showing up on Wednesday.
"There are wonderful youth who are leaders in our community," said Taylor, adding, the youth were keen to clean up the community and showed that they truly care about the town.
He added that his job on Wednesday was to pressure wash buildings after the youth and other community members did the scrubbing. CNRL loaned a pressure washer for the day to help with the clean-up, but the youth moved quickly and Taylor said he had a tough time keeping up with how quickly the work was done.