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“This is more than just a spring clean up.”
Words from the original cleaner and greener of St. Louis himself, former Mayor Vincent Schoemehl. And do they ever ring true!
Brightside St. Louis, originally named Operation Brightside, was founded in 1982 by Mayor Schoemehl and campaign chairman G. Duncan Bauman, the then publisher of the St. Louis Globe Democrat. It was the response to a 1981 survey that was conducted in which St. Louis residents felt the number one problem facing the city was the fact that it was dirty.
Volunteers were required to sign up ten additional volunteers who would then each be required to sign up ten more volunteers. The eventual 100,000 volunteers would be both the brains and brawn for the effort that would start the cleaning and greening of the gateway city, filling trash bag after trash bag of litter and debris. The group’s original slogan was “Good neighbors teamed up to clean up St. Louis” – a phrase that stuck around until the recent rebranding efforts.
“This is more than just a spring cleanup,” said Mayor Schoemehl more than 30 years ago. “We’ve spent five months putting together this concept. This will be a continuing effort to clean up the city…three years we can look back with some pride and satisfaction at what we’ve done.”
Today, we like to think that we’ve carried through with our promise. Our initiative, born in the early 1980s, worked. With numerous new programs, and a city full of daffodils (millions upon millions in fact) that can attest to our success, Brightside St. Louis is here to stay.