They say it takes a village to raise a child. In Seattle, it can also be said ... it takes a village to clean a street!

The Adopt-A-Street program is a partnership between the city of Seattle and its residents. Groups or individuals agree to adopt a mile or more of Seattle streets and keep that stretch clean. The city provides organizational help, cleanup supplies, free hauling and street signs that announce the Adopt-A-Street sponsors.

You, too, can be a part of more than 174 groups, individuals, schools, community organizations and businesses that volunteer to conduct cleanups in their communities. Adopting a street is very simple to do. Church of Scientology, Queen Anne United Methodist Church, Matheia School, McClure Middle School, Design Myriad, Napolitano Day Spa and the Seattle Center are all Adopt-A-Streeters.

Adopters take good care of their wards. In fact, between January and September of 2003, Adopt-A-Streeters picked up 1,034 bags of refuse, volunteered 1,598 hours and completed 165 cleanup projects, including our own Queen Anne annual May cleanup!

There are four easy steps to joining Adopt-A-Street:

Step 1: Fill out a volunteer form (you can get one at www2. cityofseattle.net/util/EptVolunteerForm/EptVolunteerForm.htm) and give the name of the street you wish to adopt, or call 684-7647. Volunteers who adopt at least one mile of public streets and conduct at least four cleanups per year for a two-year period will receive two Adopt-A-Street signs posted on their adopted street.

Step 2: You'll work out an agreement.

Step 3: Organize and plan a date for your first cleanup and get a delivery (free of charge) of any materials you will need for the cleanup: could be trash bags, gloves, safety vests, brooms, litter pickup tools (Nifty Nabbers), etc.

Step 4: Contact the Adopt-A-Street program a week before each cleanup to schedule the free pickup and disposal of litter you collect.

Be a part of the solution and join Adopt-A-Street. Ahhh... the joys of parenting.

A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE... is a weekly topical column on neighborhood cleaning tips penned by Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce and Uptown Alliance, and Mayor Nickels' "Clean Seattle" Initiative, an interdepartmental as well as public/private partnership designed to effectively focus city resources on designated neighborhoods, educate the public and demonstrably lead citizens to action.

E-mail regarding this story may be sent to qanews@nwlink.com

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