Riverdale group lines street with blue ribbons to honor health care workers

Some of Riverdale’s busiest streets are now lined with blue ribbons as part of a display of thanks to those working throughout the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

May 15, 2020, 11:02 AM

Updated 1,467 days ago

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Some of Riverdale’s busiest streets are now lined with blue ribbons as part of a display of thanks to those working throughout the pandemic.
Recognition is one of the best ways to thank people and show your gratitude and that's what the Riverdale Main Streets Alliance says it has decided to do.
The group formerly known as the North Riverdale Merchants and Business Association now represents about 60 businesses, community groups and Riverdale residents.
Typically, this time of year is spent fundraising $25,000 to bring some beauty to the neighborhood's busiest streets, but the coronavirus pandemic put most spring planting on pause.
Instead members launched the “blue ribbon initiative” as a show of support to those on the front lines. Blue ribbons have been tied to trees and lamp posts along Riverdale Avenue. Those who have put them there say there is a reason they are blue.
“Blue is sort of a common color for health care workers, it's what doctors and nurses wear with their scrubs and so that was the right color,” says Gary Wartels, president of the Riverdale Main Street Alliance.
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The effort also includes signs in storefronts recognizing all those continuing their work in the community, during this crisis.
Wartels estimates that roughly 60% of the businesses in the group have closed or cut back significantly.
“So we want to raise the profile of the struggle of this business district in general beyond just thanking the essential workers, we need help and we need support and we need investment from the city,” says Wartels.


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