The canal speaks in waves: community, transportation, life.

Not only does the Grand Canal system in Phoenix serve as a water source for residents, but also as a valley-wide recreational space for the runners, walkers, and cyclists. The Grand Canal touches the Gateway North neighborhood in East Phoenix where bus stops and green space can be scarce. Nestled into the neighborhood is David Crockett Elementary School and a non-profit healthcare provider, Mountain Park Health Center, whose mission is to serve and provide accessible amenities to the surrounding residents. Like its neighbors, Crockett Elementary and Mountain Park view the canal in their backyard as an opportunity to promote fitness and recreation. It is in this section of the Grand Canal that the second Love Your Block demonstration project took place on November 14, 2015 for Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day.

The Cities of Service Love Your Block AmeriCorps VISTA members, Mountain Park Health Center, Balsz School District, Neighborhood Services Department, and the Office of Councilwoman Kate Gallego came together with Keep Phoenix Beautiful to bring to life the Grand Canal Community Clean-Up.

Two weeks prior to the #LYB project, the City of Phoenix won a $10.3 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support the revitalization efforts of Grand Canalscape. What better way to celebrate the Grand Canalscape than with 300 volunteers coming out on Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day to clean-up the canal? Volunteers came out to paint a community mural, pick-up trash, remove graffiti, and landscape along the canal. Additionally, volunteers created chain-link fence art, planted 8 trees and resurfaced a baseball field at Crockett Elementary School.

Special thank you to our volunteers from Mountain Park Health Center, David Crockett Elementary School, Balsz School District, Somali American United Council, Girl Scouts, Sea Life Arizona, Justserve, United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 15, and the surrounding community.

We would not have been able to pull this event off without our amazing partners and sponsors. Thank you to Keep Phoenix Beautiful Day’s sponsors, Chipotle and UPS. Thank you UPS for donating trees. Thank you Sherwin Williams for donating 40 gallons of paint and Behr for donating 15 gallons of primer for the community mural. Thank you to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 15 who volunteered to prime the wall. Thank you Stabilizer Solutions for donating the baseball field clay for Crockett Elementary School. Thank you Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North for providing volunteers with breakfast and lunch. Thank you Home Depot and Stand for Children Arizona. Special thank you to Mesa Airlines for sponsoring our continued efforts to Keep the Canal Beautiful.