Clean the Streets and Beautify the Streetscape

Street clean up programs and projects generally include a regularly scheduled day that the community gathers to clean up debris, weeds, and overgrown landscaping


Street clean up programs and projects can vary but generally include a regularly scheduled day that the community gathers to clean up debris, weeds, and overgrown landscaping. Planter Boxes are small to medium sized boxed beds that can be planted with any variety of shrubs, grasses, and flowers. They can be put anywhere to make an area more green, beautify a street or block, or to create a more pleasant streetscape. Hanging plants can be used for beautification and greening and help bring a sense of pride and ownership to a neighborhood.

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When paired with other tools, cleaning streets and installing planters can contribute to a greener and more attractive neighborhood. Think about encouraging walking, creating safe streets, and improving neighborhood appearance. Try combining this tool with:


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Neighborhood Benefits


  • Improved air, water, and soil quality
  • Increased micro habitat for small animals and insects


  • Engaged neighbors collaborating to beautify neighborhood
  • Improved sense of place and ownership in community
  • Training local residents to clean, plant, and care for plants
  • Increased safety makes streets more walkable and bikeable
  • Edible plants provide local food


  • Improved property values
  • Improved appearance and safer streets support new residents and businesses
  • Added beauty and value to the neighborhood

Get Started

  1. Contact Brightside St. Louis, part of the City's Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, and learn about their annual Project Blitz, the most well known street clean-up organization in St. Louis. Brightside will work with your neighborhood as long as you have a block captain that is organizing your community. To find out if you have a block captain, contact your neighborhood association. You can fill out a block captain form here.
  2. Organize Your Block Captain will have to request tools. Brightside will supply trash bags and tools needed to host a clean-up day, as long as you prepare in advance. Step by step preparation instructions are available here. Contact the Street Department or Missouri Botanical Garden for tips on plants.
  3. Collaborate Brightside St. Louis also has a Graffiti Removal Program, a Litter-Awareness Program, and the 'Lend Me A Hand Tool' Program that assists neighborhoods in clean-up efforts.
  4. Work You can host your own clean-up day by working closely with your neighborhood association. Helpful step-by-step organizing guides for planning, getting volunteers, advertising, getting tools, and implementing the day can be found here: uploads/2011/10/Neighborhood_Cleanup.pdf
  5. Work When working independently, you may have to ask volunteers to bring tools such as garbage bags, gloves, rakes, lawn mowers, etc. Contact the Streets Department to request a large dumpster for bulk waste or to schedule your clean-up day around the bulk waste removal schedule, which occurs once a month and is included in standard waste service fees.
  6. Beautify Ask Gateway Greening or Brightside for yardwaste dumpsters to provide yardwaste disposal. To start beautification, create or rejuvenate planter boxes to add green landscape. They help with water, habitat, and clean air, and improve the image of your neighborhood. If your neighborhood does not have a green committee, start one with other interested residents to spearhead current and future green projects.
  7. Rejuvenate existing planters before creating new planters. Create a schedule to maintain the planters with volunteers throughout the growing season. Work with artists, volunteers, and youth to paint or decorate the planters or to create an enhanced or more usable public space similar to the planters at St. Vincent Greenway and Ruth Porter Park.
  8. Workday If organized appropriately, planters can be ordered and installed by the City. Your neighborhood association may also be able to fund the project. In Forest Park Southeast, new corner planters are funded and maintained by Washington University Medical Redevelopment Center.
  9. Maintenance Maintain plantings by consistently watering, weeding, and mulching. 

Related Categories

Project Scale

  • Block
  • Neighborhood
  • Park
  • Street

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Clean the Streets Beautify the Streetscape (618.90 KB pdf)

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