Local man hoping to keep Norristown clean

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - June 28, 2013

23-year-old Shae Ashe started the 'Norristown Project' and has recruited dozens of neighbors and even complete strangers to help.

Ashe says the trash and poor conditions in his community always bothered him.

He never thought he might be able to change things until after he left home for a job with the Disney College program in 2010.

Ashe says the program stressed the importance of community involvement.

"I love Norristown, I grew up in Norristown so I wanted to see what I could do to do my part and have others join me," said Ashe.

He began contacting his friends and former classmates.

Two weeks ago he and 15 volunteers began work on Green Street, hoping to restore Norristown's image.

"Everyday you'll see the trash flying through the streets or the day after trash pickup. The alleyways are filled with clutter. What we're looking to do is get rid of that negative image, to bring people back in to invest in Norristown," said Ashe.

In every neighborhood Ashe cleans, he signs up new volunteers and also seeks them out online.

"I met Shae on Facebook and he was advertising that he needed help for volunteers. Most young people aren't interested so I signed up," said Gretchen Stine.

Ashe's mother, the Executive Director of the Montco. OIC was quick to get involved, having also encouraging him to respect his environment.

"I grew up in a community where everyone was family, so we had to clean up," said Denise Ashe.

His mom also brought 10 kids from her camp who were all eager to help.

"If you look down that way and that way, there's trash everywhere. There's glass and children on the street," said Nina McCoy.

Friday was just a prelude to Ashe's big clean-up on Saturday.

"Tomorrow morning, we're starting at 9:00 a.m. and we're going to be doing the rest of Moore Street," he said.

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