Keeping downtown free from litter, cigarette butts, graffiti, and weeds is important to us. Our cleaning team is out and about 7 days a week keeping the downtown business district clean. We provide other cleaning services such as seasonal power washing, street sweeping, and gum removal to continually show how much we care about downtown. Our services are supplemental to those provided by the City of Harrisburg and private ownerships.
We also operate a Visitors Information Center in our office. This is a service provided for the community to help showcase all of the wonderful attractions within and surrounding our great city. The VIC is home to various brochures and pamphlets as well as monthly publications. The VIC is a partnership between the HDID and the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. Stop by and visit to see all that we have to offer.
Clean & Beautiful
We have made great strides in our cleaning & beautification efforts. Residents and visitors will notice metal trashcans on almost every street corner of downtown. The trashcans are green and feature a plate designating the Downtown Improvement District. Studies have shown that a consumer is more likely to throw trash into the proper receptacle and not on the ground if the receptacle is visible and within walking distance [about a block away]. Not only do we want to keep our City clean, we want to give our residents and visitors the resources to do their part. Over 50 green trashcans are located downtown. In 2015, we installed two BigBelly Solar Powered Trashcans featuring a trash and recycling receptacle, one on the corner 2nd & Locust Streets, and the other on Market Street near Dewberry Alley.
During the Summer & Fall, the Downtown Improvement District is responsible for the purchase and maintenance of the hanging flower baskets and pots located throughout the immediate downtown. Our team cares for and waters the plants 7 days a week. This is one of the most visible beautification projects in the city. In effort to assist the City, the DID also donates the flowers located in the planters at the City Government, maintaining them daily. The Clean Team also weeds the curblines as well as tree wells throughout the district, maintaining a pristine and welcoming appearance is important to us. The DID has also been instrumental in the greening of downtown, planting over 20 trees as well as placing potted trees in various areas throughout downtown.
Cigarette butts are a common item that gets thrown into gutters and ends up polluting our streams and rivers. Over the last several years, we have applied for and successfully been awarded grant money from Keep America Beautiful to help curb cigarette litter. We have purchased several cigarette butt receptacles that have been placed at various locations to promote proper placement of butts. We have also run campaigns promoting cigarette litter prevention.
Artistic and functional bike racks have been installed in 24 areas of the downtown business district. DID purchased the racks as part of a beautification project also as our way of showing our support for the biking community. The first round of racks were installed in May 2014, in honor of Bike Month. Additional bike racks have been purchased and installed throughout 2015 & 2016. The latest addition is a family of 4 bike racks, featuring 2 parents and 2 children, in front of the Rachel Carson Bldg on Market Street.
In the summer of 2017, the DID was responsible for the creation of the Discover the Ducks Downtown campaign. The campaign featured 15 artistically painted ducks placed around the district, encouraging the community to come visit and check out the ducks, take pictures, as well as explore downtown. The campaign also featured events like a Rubber Ducky Race and a Lunchtime Carnival. The DID is always focused on creating an inviting environment for the community.
Currently, we have a Safety Team that patrols the business district; helping pedestrians in need of directions, reporting downed signs or sidewalk obstructions, monitoring suspicious behavior, etc. During the summer months when several establishments offer outside happy hours and dining, the patrol hours increase. We also have hired off-duty City of Harrisburg police officers to patrol downtown various nights of the week. We want residents and visitors to feel safe downtown. In effort to help reduce crime and increase safety downtown, we partnered with Harristown Enterprises in the Fall of 2013 to repair and replace 38 streetlights located within the downtown business district. In the Spring of 2015, we partnered with a group of organizations to fix 16 additional streetlights. Proper lighting helps prevent crimes. The DID also purchased, installed and maintains 10 security cameras in various parts of downtown, providing the Harrisburg Police Department with access to the cameras in effort to help deter and fight crime.