Graffiti clean up in Wicker Park's 1st Ward Saturday


Volunteer removing graffiti from back of bench

"Graffiti action days make a significant and tangible impact on the appearance of a targeted commercial corridor or neighborhood," says architect Adam Natenshon. May 5 will be the second cleanup with 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno's volunteers. Volunteers are to meet at Damen and Wicker Park Ave. at the Wicker Park entrance at noon for a two hour span of cleaning.


The first cleanup in Bucktown with Moreno volunteers had most participants reporting that they cleaned approximately 40 to 50 tags each during two hours.   "The events democratize the responsibility of graffiti removal from City Hall to the neighborhood, while simultaneously cleaning up the commercial corridor and empowering the local community," explains Natenshon. Each volunteer is armed with SoSafe, a product Natenshon became aware of when facing a massive problem with the Hairpin Lofts in Logan Square. 


Adam Natenshon talks with prospect during the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce's Green Business Resource Fair

According to Natenshon, the SoSafe graffiti products, which he is now distributing, are highly green and therefore very safe to use. They are fast acting and can completely remove most tags within a couple minutes without impacting the underlying surface.  Safe enough to be used by non-professionals, a group of volunteers with spray bottles, sponges and buckets of water can effectively remove the majority of the graffiti in a commercial corridor including signs, non-porous surfaces, and painted surfaces like mailboxes, newspaper boxes, meter boxes and lamp posts. This leaves only the stubborn tagging on porous materials such as limestone and brick for professional removal.

"My dream is that the volunteers will be empowered to help keep the neighborhood clean because it is so easy and gratifying to remove graffiti," commented Natensohn.



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