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Volunteers Look To Transform Neighborhood Alleyways

Evening Edition

Volunteers will be working through the weekend to transform alleyways in North Park and Logan Heights from dirty locations ideal for dumping and crime into places where neighbors and friends can congregate.

The volunteers are local residents, business owners, Qualcomm employees and artists. The volunteers paint murals, install lights and do some weeding and planting in the alleyways.

Avital Aboody works with a group of non-profits called the Greater Logan Heights Community Partnership, a supporter of the Take Back The Alley project.

“Alleyways are often forgotten spaces that have a lot of issues around dumping and crime and tagging and loitering,” Aboody said.

Improving alleyways is particularly important in Logan Heights and North Park because those neighborhoods lack open public spaces like parks.

“It’s really important to think about these spaces as potential sites for public gatherings and to improve them so people can feel safe and use them in a way that is not detrimental to the health of the community,” Aboody said.

Beryl Forman is one of the volunteers with the project. She says the project draws inspiration from similar efforts in other cities.

“A lot of our urban communities have a deficiency of park space, so having linear parks is, I think, a great growth towards the future. We can look to other cities, like the High Line in New York - that’s a major linear park - and see how we can apply that here,” Forman said.

The Media Arts Center San Diego launched the Take Back The Alley project in 2012 in North Park. They are now also trying to expand the project into Tijuana. This year’s project ends on Sunday with block parties in both Logan Heights and North Park featuring music, food and guest speakers.

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