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Community cleanup, block party set to help revitalize Garden Street

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – September 3, 2015 – The V.I. Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) announces that E’s Garden Teahouse and Things and the Long/Path Garden Street Community Association, in collaboration with the VIEDA’s Enterprise and Commercial Zone Commission, will host a Cleanup/Block Party in Garden Street on St. Thomas on Saturday, September 5, 2015. Residents and business owners of Garden Street and the general public are invited to participate in these activities and in an historic walk through Garden Street led by the Enterprise and Commercial Zone Commission, an entity of the VIEDA.

The Cleanup/Block Party is one of many ongoing initiatives that are designed to help revitalize the neighborhood of Garden Street which is one of four enterprise zones in the Territory. An enterprise zone is a severely distressed area in the U.S. Virgin Islands that was once a socially and economically vibrant community.

“We want the merchants and residents of Garden Street to not only be involved in cleaning up this neighborhood,” said Dr. Judith Edwin, owner of E ‘s Garden Teahouse and Things. “But collaborate in participating in activities to revitalize the community,” added Dr. Edwin.

The cleanup will be held from 9AM to 12PM followed by an historic walk through the neighborhood which will be held from 12PM to 2PM. Volunteers for the cleanup will assemble at the Long Path/Garden Street Community Center and participants of the historic walk will meet at E’s Garden Teahouse and Things on Commandant Gade OV at the bottom of Bunker Hill.

The Block Party will be held from 2PM to 8PM on Commandant Gade OV with musical entertainment along with games and other fun activities for children. Food and drinks will also be on sale. During the Block Party, neighborhood stores – including those on Commandant Gade – will also be open and will have their products on display tables for sale.

“Partnering with enterprise zone stakeholders such as the Long Path/Garden Street Community Association is an important part of revitalizing our distressed neighborhoods,” said VIEDA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Wayne L. Biggs, Jr. “And the ECZC continues to work in partnership with stakeholders on these types of initiatives in which the community can become more involved in restoring these areas in our community,” added Biggs, Jr.

Other local government agencies that will participate in this event include the Office of the Governor’s Administrator Office, Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA), and the Virgin Islands Police Department.

To become a volunteer of this event, or to submit donations, contact Dr. Judith Edwin at E’s Garden Teahouse and Things at 340-776-2577. Representatives of local government agencies can contact Nadine T. Marchena Kean, director of the Enterprise and Commercial Zone Commission, at 340-714-1700, ext. 256, or Raheem Smith, enterprise zone specialist at ext. 253.

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