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Volunteers spruce up along Chestnut Street

Volunteers spruce up along Chestnut Street
Volunteers spruce up along Chestnut Street
Main Street Corydon executive director Catherine Turcotte works on the window of White Cloud Window in downtown Corydon Saturday morning during the first Umuganda Corydon volunteer event. Photo by Ross Schulz

Many businesses, along with some empty storefronts, along Chestnut Street in Corydon were treated to a mini clean-up Saturday, courtesy of 15 volunteers.
The efforts were part of the first Umuganda Corydon, a ‘morning of community service,’ that will continue on the last Saturday of each month.
‘We washed windows of most every business on Chestnut Street,’ Catherine Turcotte, executive director of Main Street Corydon, who spearheaded the idea. ‘That’s about 25 to 30 storefronts.’
Some of the businesses were closed during the three-hour work session; others were open and doing business. Other storefronts are vacant and waiting to be leased.
‘They didn’t ask us to do it,’ Turcotte said. ‘We did it because we care about downtown Corydon.’
In some cases, the building owners helped wash the windows; at others, the merchants, who were running the stores, had their spouses participate.
‘Many of the merchants sweep every day, but the leaves blow back,’ Turcotte said. ‘So, a few of our volunteers went out and bought dust pans, and we swept the leaves and dirt into trash bags.’
And at street crossings, the group cleaned out dirt that was caked in between the ‘nubbies.’
‘The ones on Chestnut are much better now,’ Turcotte said. ‘Eventually, we will get all around town to do this.’
The other act accomplished during Umuganda Corydon was placing 20 posters, provided by Main Street Corydon and BR Grafix, in storefront windows that are empty or don’t have displays.
Turcotte said the posters contain positive messages about downtown Corydon.
‘I thought Saturday was a great start to a project that will help to bring pride to the community,’ Troy Blumenstock, a volunteer who has taken ownership of the program said, ‘We have to start somewhere. If these small changes get noticed and more people get involved, I feel it is a success for the community as well as the business owners. To me, it is everyone’s responsibility.’
Turcotte said yesterday (Tuesday) that, on her way home from work Monday, she saw a couple walking their dog along Chestnut Street and they had stopped to read one of the posters.
‘I hope this is the beginning of a project that we can get more individuals excited about and involved in,’ Blumenstock said. ‘Corydon is a great community, and it feels good to make a difference.’
The next Umuganda Corydon will be Saturday, Feb. 28.
Turcotte said Saturday’s volunteers decided the next project will be to clean along Capitol Avenue between Chestnut and High streets. From there, the volunteers will pick up trash along the north side of S.R. 62 between Capitol Avenue and S.R. 135.
All interested volunteers are to meet at KentJava Bar, located along Chestnut Street, at 9 a.m. At the end of three hours, the group will decide on the March project.
‘If you love Corydon and working together with other people who are like-minded, come on out,’ Turcotte said. ‘We had a great time, and we did some good.
‘I think all of us who attended this first Umuganda will come back, first, because we care about Corydon, also because we enjoyed our time together,’ she said. ‘There was a great team spirit during our three hours of work.’
For more information or to make a suggestion for a future Umuganda Corydon project, call Turcotte at 812-738-0120 or send an email to [email protected]

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