Two unique pieces of art are now on display on and around 6th Avenue, beautifying the corridor and surrounding neighborhood in more ways than one. Frustrated by the appearance of litter in the neighborhood, Laura Peters, Executive Director of the 6th Avenue Corridor, Inc., decided it was time to address the issue. While researching anti-litter strategies online, she came across the Litter Letter Project, conceived by a graphic artist in Louisiana. The project features thought-provoking words constructed of rebar and chicken wire, filled with litter. “I knew immediately that we needed to replicate this project here on 6th Avenue,” Peters stated. “These words carry a dual message for environmental sustainability and community revitalization. My hope is that people will reflect on their meaning, and feel inspired to take action. It’s about building awareness AND pride in our community.” The 6th Avenue Corridor partnered with Moulton Extended Learning Center and Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM) to create the word “HOPE”. Martha McCormick, an educational consultant with Keep Iowa Beautiful, guided youth from CFUM through a process to develop and determine their word. “The kids were amazed at how much litter they picked up on their first sweep of the neighborhood. They are pretty excited about the leadership role they’re playing in this project. I think they’ll make a real difference in the neighborhood.” On April 22nd (Earth Day), youth of CFUM and Moulton Extended Learning Center conducted a neighborhood clean-up in the area surrounding their school. That afternoon, each Moulton student assisted with the filling of “THINK” during Moulton’s Earth Day Garden Party. (Their word “HOPE” wasn’t quite ready yet). On Saturday, April 26th, community members conducted a neighborhood clean-up focusing on remaining areas around 6th Avenue. Twenty-six volunteers picked up approximately 95 bags of litter. After a picnic, together the group filled the word “HOPE”. “THINK” is now on display in a highly-visible, vacant lot at 6th & Forest. “HOPE” has been placed in a garden at the corner of 9th & College. Both words will be on display indefinitely, perhaps being refilled and moved to other locations on the corridor. The 6th Avenue Corridor would like to thank all of the supporters for the project: Steve Murga (Artist/Fabricator) Metro Waste Authority Keep Iowa Beautiful Martha McCormick Metro Arts Alliance Green Arts Program Andrea Hauer Mike Hildebrand Laura Graham Breanne Barnum Links to the THINK and HOPE albums are available on our Facebook page.