Uptown graffiti cleanup set for Saturday

Uptown grime and graffiti will take a hit May 2 when volunteers clean up their community during the 2009 Uptown Wipeout.

“We want to make Uptown a more inviting place for the people who live there and people who come and visit,” said Sarah Anderson of the Uptown Association, which organizes the event.  

The wipe out started last year and it was a hit — graffiti in the area decreasing by 58 percent. The Uptown Association is expecting volunteers to leave the area sparkling again this year.  

“Last year about 50 people came out, and we’re expecting as many and hopefully more this year,” Anderson said.

Volunteers will find all the equipment waiting there for them. Paint, graffiti remover, trash bags, safety vests, gloves, and food and beverages will be available for people who come out.

Specified shift times are from 9 a.m. to noon, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and noon to 3 p.m., but volunteers can come for any amount of time. Headquarters are at the YWCA parking ramp at 2808 Hennepin Ave. S. People who want to volunteer can sign up in teams or individually by April 29 at uptownminneapolis.com.

The Wipe Out is a segment of the Innovative Graffiti Prevention grant awarded to the Uptown Association. The grant will also go to graffiti education programs, a greening project and a crime prevention education project with the Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct.  

The Uptown Association will host another wipe out in the fall, and most likely in years to come.

 “We want to make this a regular community-building event,” Anderson said. “We hope to lessen vandalism as much as we can for as long as we can.”