More than three dozen students, parents, educators and board of education members, business owners, and other members of the community joined hands to “sweep the streets” in a mile-long stretch of the historic Galewood Business District last month.
A collaborative effort between the Galewood Business Association, Godfrey-Lee Public Schools and City of Wyoming, the project — originally postponed from April due to unseasonal snow — was the first of what organizers hope will become an annual tradition.
“The Godfrey-Lee community, which incorporates the Galewood area along Burton Street and the old Urbandale area along Chicago Drive, has a proud history,” said Superintendent David Britten, a local historian at heart who grew up in the area and attended several schools in the district. “We like to claim that it’s an urban-suburban area with a small-town attitude, where folks like today come together to aid each other and show their pride in their community.”
The Galewood Business Association (also referred to as the Burton Street Business group) is an informal group that meets monthly to discuss crime, security, and collaborative efforts such as this.
“A strong, vibrant business community is just as important as a successful school district,” said Britten. “We hope to continue to grow our partnership and bring the Galewood and eventually Urbandale business corridors back to a level of success they once enjoyed.”
Galewood, the first business district in what was then Wyoming Township, was home to the first township hall, police department and library. At one time the district included a local bank, movie theater, a dozen gas stations, restaurants, and several drug stores.
Today, the district continues to be home to Huizens Furniture, Pfeffers, Park Pharmacy, Rose’s Embroidery, Fryling Jewelers, and Shelly’s Kitchen, all of which historically rooted in the Godfrey-Lee community.
Volunteers spent a couple hours this month sweeping the sidewalks into the street and collecting trash along the mile-long corridor. The city of Wyoming provided a street sweeper to vacuum it up and haul it away. Dollar General donated trash bags and the school district aided with brooms, blowers, and barrels to collect debris. Rose’s Embroidery (owned and operated by the Rose Family for three generations) provided a staging area and refreshments. Other businesses pitched in, too.