East Ward Cook School Cleanup shows Harrison and Gusciora serious about tackling city problems and residents ready to help

“That’s one small step for manone giant leap for mankind.”  Those famous words uttered by Neil Armstrong when he famously landed on the moon was the overall sentiment from countless residents after a massive cleanup took place at the former Cook School in the Wilbur Section of the East Ward in Trenton.

The cleanup initiated by newly elected East Ward Councilman Joe “The Gentle Giant” Harrison and Mayor Reed Gusciora was not only a massive undertaking but a sign that both men are serious about keeping their word about what each campaigned on.

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Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora and East Ward Councilman Joe Harrison speak with a resident.

“Both the Mayor and I are committed to cleaning up our neighborhoods, but to see the outpouring of support from the residents and everyone here shows that by all of us working together we are going to turn this city around” explained Harrison.

The cleanup included former NBA Player and Trenton resident Greg Grant, City Public Works crews, elected officials, the Trenton Fire Department, The Trenton Police Department and nearly 100 residents and volunteers that gave up their Saturday to make a difference in the neighborhood.

Gusciora added I am going to work to rally the city “to keep going” in the direction of cleanliness. “We’ll do it one neighborhood at a time,” he said, “one block at a time.”

This was the second major cleanup in just over a month by the new administration.  In July, Gusciora worked with South Ward Councilman George Muschal who led an effort to clean up the streets with the help of street sweepers.

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A before and after picture of the alley behind Cook School in the Wilbur Section of the East Ward.

This time in the heat of August, in under 8 hours, with a lot of pride, sweat, muscle and laughs the school and surrounding alleys were transformed.

The event even garnered the support of local businesses Starbucks, Cases Pork Roll, City Beef, The Knights of Columbus Council 355 and The Harrison team. South ward councilman George Muschal supplied donuts in the morning, Former Mayor Doug Palmer supplied burgers, hot dogs for lunch as the Trenton Fireman maned the grill and graciously provided water and Gatorade for the volunteers and workers.

Maybe it wasn’t as epic as sending a man to the moon, but they did something nearly as monumental for the Wilbur Section residents – they cleaned up areas that have been neglected for over a decade and proved that when the city comes together as one Trenton anything is possible.

Before and after photos of the sidewalk out in front of the William G Cook school on Cuyler & Walnut

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