Annual neighborhood cleanup event is Oct. 23

Volunteers from the last cleanup event are, from left, Ralph Wilson, Betty Sawyer Smith, Frederic Osborn, Nicole Shunte Gray, Claire Prymus, Doris, Rosemary Elie, Ronnie Williams Jr., Telba Perez Espinoza and her daughter, and Christopher Petite.

The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center will host its second annual “Neighborhood Cleanup” event Saturday, Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. – noon. The cleanup includes MLK Drive and North Street, from the BDJ Center to University and the perimeter of Natchitoches Thomas Apartments. The area will be divided into two sections, North Street and MLK Drive, each with its own team and team leader.

This article published in the Oct. 21, 2021, print edition

Teams will work together to pick up trash and clean up the sidewalks. The goals are to beautify the community and engage residents. The City of Natchitoches, community volunteers and the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars have supported this event. The Kiwanis of Natchitoches will be volunteering in the garden to help prepare for fall/winter crop. Call (318) 460-7460 to volunteer for the Clean Up event.

There will be many more activities to participate in during their end of the year “Continue The Legacy” Campaign in November and December. The BDJ Center operates the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program for youth (17-24) with barriers to getting and keeping a job. The students receive job training and life skills to empower them to lead independent lives.

The Legacy Garden provides community garden beds and a living classroom for students and community alike are welcome to come and learn about growing food. The Legacy Corner Store provides healthy and convenient produce straight from the Legacy Garden and offers daily incentives on healthy choices. “We are pleased to support young people in Natchitoches as they pursue sustainable employment, a better life for themselves and their families, and become respected contributing citizens in our community,” said BDJ Educational Center President and Founder Claire Prymus.