June 27 2011
The Basura Bash neighborhood clean up and beautification project began with a collaboration. A representative from Keeping Greater Milwaukee Beautiful (KGMB) witnessed a community river clean-up project in Texas. He brought the idea to a local community organizer named Aaron Edwards who works with a non profit called Safe and Sound. KGMB and Safe and Sound both work to make Milwaukee a safe and clean place to live so it made sense for them to team up for the Milwaukee Basura Bash. Basura is Spanish for trash - and since both projects take place in neighborhoods with a significant Hispanic population - they kept the name.
The fourth annual Milwaukee Basura Bash brought nearly 500 neighbors together to pick up trash, plant flowers and remove graffiti in 18 specific sites on the South Side. Neighbors got almost 300 bags worth of trash off the streets and out of their community. They also worked on alley identification - many homes don’t have house numbers in their alleys, which can make it difficult for police and emergency services to know where they need to be.
The Basura Bash is more than just a clean up though. After the day’s work, neighbors gathered in Clarke Square Park to climb a rock wall, eat some free food and enjoy a drum lesson and music from local musicians. Groups were also offering resources and information for everything from how to improve English language skills, to how to properly care for animals to drug abuse prevention.
Donations and contributions from a diverse group of Community Based organizations and businesses helped to make the 4th annual Basura Bash a fun and productive way to keep Milwaukee a beautiful and safe place to live.