Kristi Stokes: Keeping our waterfront clean and safe
There aren't many jobs where one can get positive feedback from strangers on a daily basis. But that is the routine for members of the Clean & Safe Team, managed by the Greater Downtown Council. Team members, clad in their safety green and na...
There aren't many jobs where one can get positive feedback from strangers on a daily basis. But that is the routine for members of the Clean & Safe Team, managed by the Greater Downtown Council. Team members, clad in their safety green and navy uniforms, are out on the streets and skywalks of our Downtown Waterfront District every day. And they quickly realize what they are told in their initial orientation: the job provides instant gratification as visitors, residents and downtown employees often offer thanks and praise.
I was reminded of this thanks to a recent email from a tourist who appreciated staff members dedicated to picking up litter and debris while also providing hospitality and safety services. It ended with the comment "I applaud you and your staff for your efforts to make Duluth a world-class destination -- and a safe one at that."
Now in our seventh year of operation for the Clean & Safe Team, we are continually looking for ways to further strengthen the level of service provided. From emptying waste receptacles and maintaining street-scape flower planters to patrolling the Skywalk system and providing visitor information, the team members serve as true ambassadors for our community. We have tapped into technology to assist our efforts as well. The recent addition of a Segway is now allowing our team to take on additional responsibilities of driving through downtown parking lots and structures to ensure its visibility and, we hope, to deter any criminal activity. In any commercial corridor, it's encouraging to have extra eyes and ears for the police department. We truly value that relationship with our downtown officers and have proven that together, we can play a role in curbing some quality-of-life crimes.
Team members can also be seen at various events throughout our downtown. From large events such as Grandma's Marathon to smaller weekly events such as our farmers market, they play a critical role. Whether it is providing directions to visitors during Grandma's or providing event setup assistance at the farmers market, they are there with a smile and a helping hand.
We're proud to have a central business district that is cleaner, safer and friendlier than when our program was first established. The services this team provides would not be possible without the support of downtown property owners and the City of Duluth. First impressions are lasting impressions, and the Clean & Safe Team is doing its part to ensure a positive experience within our district.
Kristi Stokes is the president of the Greater Downtown Council in Duluth. Contact her at 727-8549 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org