MONTCLAIR, NJ - Inspired by the solo actions of Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson, a group of Montclair residents gathered at Glenfield Park on Saturday morning to help clean up their own neighborhood.
Nearly a week ago, resident Dennis Crawley spotted Mayor Jackson in Glenfield Park by himself picking up trash for two days straight. After asking Jackson why he was doing this, Crawley was inspired to assist. Crawley told TAPinto Montclair that Jackson said [sic] that he saw the need and decided to do it.
Although April 22 is Earth Day, Jackson wasn't cleaning up the park for recognition, but because he felt the need to help keep his community looking clean, Crawley stated. Seeing that act, Crawley decided to gather a team of residents to also contribute. Ironically, the next weekend that Crawley and the volunteers gathered, just happened to be the official observation of Earth Day.
Also in attendance was Mayor Jackson, Deputy Police Chief Wil Young, Director Community Affairs for Essex County Maurice Brown, MNDC and NAACP President Al Pelham and nearly two dozen others.
One of the most used parks in Montclair, Glenfield is not owned by the Township of Montclair, but the Essex County government. As one of the most frequented parks, Glenfield also requires a great deal of upkeep. There are many residents who take pride in Montclair and desire to inspire the younger generation of residents to do the same.
Since the news of Mayor Jackson's solo act of service broke, there have been reports that many other community leaders have been spotted around Montclair also helping to keep the local parks and neighborhoods clean, such as Councilwoman Renee Baskerville, NAACP and MNDC President Albert Pelham, WIlliam Scott of the Housing Commission and countless others. Councilman William Hurlock even hosts an annual spring beautification day in the first ward, now in its fifth year.
Crawley, who also coached little league football with the Montclair Cobras, brought some of his young players, their parents and his friends to help clean up Glenfield Park on Saturday.
He said that he was pleased with the unity displayed by many Montclair residents, "The Township of Montclair is one big family that unites all cultures and races to come together as one."
Crawley added that he hoped to inspire the younger generation to take pride in their community, "Community service starts at home and all of the residents of Montclair that showed up realize Glenfield Park is home."
After nearly two hours of cleaning, the group had filled nearly two dozen bags of trash. Crawley then proudly declared, "The park is clean!"