by Gary Axelbank
With a sharp eye towards beautifying the Bronx and in particular Community Board 4, the civic action group, The Bronx Rox, along with Partnerships for Parks and a range of volunteers from community groups, incuding the 44 Pct. Explorers club, Sustainable South Bronx, and others from the local community, spent Saturday, November 4 painting over Franz Siegel Park in Concourse Village. They also received support from the Bronx Terminal Market and Related who provided refreshments to fuel the activity.
According to founder Michelle Daniels, when The Bronx Rox has a community paint-over event, well, they rock!
“The volunteers love making a difference. They love the social aspects of meeting people in the neighborhood, bringing people together,” she said.
Approximately every six weeks since the group launched in July, they’ve gotten together and painted over decaying neighborhood spots. They’ve done the big wall leading up to Bronx Terminal Market, the bridges on Walton and Gerard Avenues, and the vendor gates on East 161st street. Up next is the area around Gerard Avenue and 157th Street.
“It’s an absolute mess,” Daniels said. “We want to do that within the next four weeks.”
The concept of Bronx Rox activities is simple, as simple as the “I Love New York” slogan.
“I loved that. It’s so powerful, so simple,” she said. So she came up with something that would resonate in the same way: Empower, Encourage, Acknowledge.
“I looked for something that would give back to the Bronx and my community because everyone was was saying, ‘Oh, you live in the Bronx and it’s not safe,’ and I was so tired of hearing that. So I wanted to give the Bronx an image boost.”
With the paintovers and an event honoring the local precinct commander under their belts, The Bronx Rox hopes eventually to expand what they do into a full fledged foundation.
“We want to do this through the whole Bronx,” she said.