Springfield residents to lead community cleanup Sunday

Volunteers from the 1159 South Community Development Corporation including Dorian Hunter and Te'Vaun Stephens work on a new community space at the intersection of South Yellow Springs Street and Innisfallen Avenue Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Three Springfield residents are leading a community cleanup Sunday to show that they are taking ownership of their neighborhoods as they strive to be role models for others.

“We are trying to take ownership of our community,” Dorian Hunter, one of the organizers said. “We are trying to do the things that we need to do to take care of our community - instead of relying on different entities to take care of things that should be taken care of by us.”

Hunter, along with Te’Vaun Stephens, known professionally as Tay Da Prince, and Jalen Wood decided that a community cleanup was necessary after noticing an abundance of trash near Selma Road in Springfield.

“That side of the community hasn’t been very well taken care of,” Hunter said. “It’s always been a part of town that always looks different than the other side of town.”

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The community cleanup will begin at noon in the Southern Village Shopping Center parking lot, located at Sunset Avenue and Selma Road. Hunter said they are planning to head west towards Limestone Street. Volunteers should wear a mask and bring trash bags and gloves.

“It’s time for us, the black community, to stop complaining how the city is not doing anything for us,” Stephens said. “We need to take responsibility and do for ourselves.”

This is not the first time the three men have volunteered in the community.

Hunter and Stephens recently assisted 1159 South Community Development Corporation in creating two community spaces near South Yellow Springs Street.

A few weeks ago, Wood led a cleanup project around the Sunset Hills Apartments and at a small park on the corner of Sunset Avenue and Delta Road.

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He told the News-Sun that he would like to renovate the area and help build a park there with playground equipment and an exercise area.

“There’s a lot of poverty in Springfield. My main goal is to make kids’ lives easier,” Wood said. “I want to inspire them in the right direction.”

Inspiring others, leading by example and being positive role models is what the three men are planning to do on Sunday, Hunters explained.

He said that they are trying to recreate his grandfather’s, Marshall Watkins, vision.

Watkins was the organizer of Men Today Men Tomorrow, a mentoring organization that strived to create a better future for men in Springfield, Hunter said.

The three men said they are planning to have other projects in the future, but this is the first step.

“We just need to change the mentality of taking care of our community, taking care of our streets because this is where we live, this is where we reside, this is our community,” Hunter said.

Stephens added: “We need our actions to show that we really care and love one another.”

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