Block clubs unite to build community, working to beautify West Side

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Separate block clubs on one of the city's most notorious sides are uniting to build a stronger, safer community.

One shovel of soil at a time - community members are working to beautify the West Side.

Members of the Austin and Adams block club came together to plant rose bushes and other flowers along Austin Boulevard Saturday. The project spans six blocks.

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"The other thing with flowers is they bring people together," said Tina Augustus, president of the Austin and Adams block club.

Augustus said the event focused on community resources and connecting with others

"I lived here almost 30 years and got tired of seeing neighbors from a distance," Augustus said.

Mayor Lori lightfoot masked up and spoke to the community who pulled together for the cause.

"You see this energy from the people and they love their neighborhood. I want to do whatever I can to really uplift the voices and support them," Lightfoot said.

The West Side has experienced a spike in crime as the number of murders across city continues to climb.

This local effort was a way to bring the focus on the positives across the city and the Austin neighborhood.

"There are a lot of great people who live on the West Side. I have been committed to use the power of my office and city to improve the fortunes of people on the West Side. I'm confident that if we really focus and invest on the West Side it will have a ripple effect on the rest of the city," Lightfoot said.

The operation included social service agencies passing out PPE, 2020 census information and sharing community resources that could help build up the West Side.
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