If you're vising the downtown Kalamazoo area, don't be surprised to spot a few people in uniform sweeping the sidewalks.

In a recent press release, the Downtown Kalamazoo Partnership announced the launch of The Downtown Kalamazoo Ambassador Program. The program puts people in the streets of downtown Kalamazoo to clean up and be a resource for those visiting the downtown area.

In the press release, Andrew Haan, president of the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, was quoted saying,

A clean, safe, and welcoming downtown will continue to be vital to our success as we move beyond the pandemic and continue our work of ensuring downtown is the thriving, active heart of our community.

The Ambassadors will be responsible for a variety of cleaning services like:

  • leaves/snow removal
  • emptying trash cans
  • power washing sidewalks

And more. They'll also have a social aspect to their responsibilities like:

  • providing directions to visitors
  • developing relationships with local businesses
  • supporting downtown events
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Currently, the ambassador team is made up of 5 people that will be working 7 days a week. All are trained on safety protocols involving Covid-19 and social distancing. They'll start their day at 7a.m. and may be available as late as 11:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. You'll spot them on foot, on bikes and in a designated vehicle and should be able to pick them out thanks to their bright blue and grey uniforms.

The program officially launched this past Monday, 5/17, with a two week goal of cleaning up graffiti, removing leaves and power washing areas that need it most. Downtown businesses can also request ambassador services by calling 269-568-5402 or emailing ambassadors@downtownkalamazoo.org.

Perhaps I've yet to live in an area large enough or with enough of a need for downtown ambassadors but I think this is a brilliant idea. Visiting the downtown Kalamazoo area for the first time can be overwhelming. To have someone there who can point out where to eat, point you to the types of shops you're looking for and, in general, keep up the aesthetics of downtown is genius. And made possible by the company Block by Block. You can read more about their company and other areas with downtown ambassadors here.

As well, you can stay up to date on upcoming events and everything happening with downtown Kalamazoo on the Downtown Kalamazoo Partnership's website or Facebook page.

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