Kalamazoo launches Downtown Ambassador program to keep streets clean and guide visitors
KALAMAZOO, MI – A new program launched this week to help keep downtown Kalamazoo clean and provide information to visitors.
The Downtown Kalamazoo Ambassador program was launched on Monday May 17 to meet the cleaning and hospitality needs of the city’s downtown core, according to a press release from the Downtown Kalamazoo Partnership.
“In many thriving city centers and business districts across the country and around the world, we are seeing how Ambassador programs are cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining critical public spaces in response to the pandemic.” said Andrew Haan, president of Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership.
A Downtown Ambassador program started in Grand Rapids in 2013, and other cities have also considered similar programs.
In Kalamazoo, a group of five ambassadors will perform daily cleaning tasks such as dumping garbage, sweeping sidewalks and seasonal snow removal from leaves. The group will also provide directions to visitors, develop relationships with local businesses and support downtown events and programs, the statement said.
“All program ambassadors, whether they specialize in cleaning or hospitality, will be trained to provide customer service while respecting appropriate physical distance and security protocols,” the statement said.
Ambassadors can be recognized by downtown residents and visitors by their blue and gray uniforms. They will be on foot, by bicycle and in a designated vehicle.
The ambassadors start their work every day at 7 a.m. and will serve downtown until 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the statement said.
âA clean, safe and welcoming downtown will continue to be essential to our success as we move beyond the pandemic and continue our work to ensure that the downtown is the vibrant and active heart of our community, âsaid Haan.
The program is run by Block by Block, a private company based in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Kalamazoo Ambassador Program is financially supported by contributions from several community organizations, including the Town of Kalamazoo, the Consumers Energy Foundation, the Discover Kalamazoo, the Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Jim Gilmore Jr Foundation and Metro, the Kalamazoo bus system.
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