Tomorrow, the city’s Public Health Division and Portland Housing Authority will join representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and residents of Riverton Park Housing Development to tackle the issue of illegally dumped garbage in the woods and waterways around that complex.
Here’s some important background on the effort, as provided in an announcement today by the city of Portland:
Earlier this year, the University of New England and Portland Public Health partnered on an environmental health risk assessment funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A sample of residents was interviewed, and field research conducted to document their concerns. The results of the survey were shared last month at a community meeting during which residents were asked to share their ideas and in a collective effort find ways to address their environmental concerns. Tomorrow’s clean-up is in response to the environmental health concerns expressed by Riverton residents. Other efforts planned include collaborating with the Portland Police Department to address neighborhood safety concerns and raise residents’ awareness of the department’s efforts and how residents can play an active rule in enhancing the quality of life and improving safety for the public housing neighborhood. Efforts are underway to find additional funding to address other concerns voiced by the neighborhood, such as replacing or repairing the playground and basketball courts. The Portland Housing Authority and Portland Public Health are also looking to replicate similar environmental health efforts at other PHA sites.