Friends of Germantown Northwest and Germantown United CDC are partnering on a new project called “Clean It Up Make It Safe” Germantown Pop-up Cleanup, a public health and safety campaign aimed at litter abatement within Lower Germantown. The grassroots project utilizes pop-up cleanups – volunteer efforts that appear suddenly or unexpectedly – along the commercial district to improve the beauty, cleanliness, and safety of the targeted area, build community, and inspire people to action.

These cleanups are managed by Friends of Germantown Northwest’s Keith Schenck, and supported by GUCDC through the organization’s Lower Germantown Quality of Life Initiative which began in 2017.


“Clean It Up Make It Safe” events are highly visible flash cleanups within the commercial district and provide sidewalk sweeping, weeding, and litter and cigarette removal. Each cleanup is executed by a large group of volunteers and designed to:

  • Have an an immediate and positive physical impact in the community;
  • Generate excitement and community spirit;
  • Demonstrate leadership by example;
  • Encourage participation in community building; and
  • Challenge residents, merchants, and other stakeholders in greater Germantown to become involved in service and community-driven neighborhood improvement efforts.


Keith Schenck, Friends of Germantown NW

This summer, six pop-up cleanup projects were held.

More than 85 youth volunteers participated in the cleanup program.

Activities included:

  • Curbside cleaning and street sweeping along Germantown Ave, between Seymour St and Penn St
  • Maintenance of vacant lots along the 5100 block of Wakefield St, nearby Mastery Charter Wister Elementary
  • Clean-up of green spaces around street tree bases on Germantown Ave, between Penn St and Coulter St
  • Cleanup at Bringhurst Park, 200 E Bringhurst St, in collaboration with Trades for A Difference, included the installation of new benches, a “Little Free Library” book donation box, and painting of raised beds
  • Curbside cleaning around Mastery Charter Wister Elementary perimeter

Bringhurst Park, 200 E Bringhurst St, in East Germantown

A gold bench, in memory of good neighbor Veronica “Goldie” Wright

All supplies and equipment were provided by the city’s Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) and purchased locally from Pik-A-Panel Tru Value (5000 Germantown Ave). Gtown Tees (5279 Germantown Ave) provided the “Germantown” hats and custom-printed safety vests.


This project is part of Germantown United CDC’s Lower Germantown Quality of Life Initiative, which began in 2017. The initiative aims to address quality of life issues having a negative effect on the lower Germantown Avenue business corridor, south of Coulter Street to Berkley St at Wayne Junction Station. These issues center on trash and litter, auto and pedestrian traffic safety, nuisance businesses, and crime.

Bookmark for updates on the program.

Like Friends of Germantown NW on Facebook to learn about other clean and safe initiatives and volunteer opportunities.