The Denton City Merchants and Professionals Association is sponsoring a special clean-up week as a memorial to Bruno Owens, the well-known neighborhood activist who died in March at the age of 89.

Solomon Nash, the president of the Merchants Association, says that the clean-up campaign will be a nice way “to remember, honor, and carry on the efforts of this special person.”

“Bruno Owens Week” to take place the first week in April, will feature a marathon of steam-cleaning on 16th Street. Merchants will steam-clean their sidewalks from River to Main Street, on a block-by-block basis.

Store owners will also spiff up their businesses by pulling weeds, painting over graffiti, pulling posters from poles, and planting flowers and shrubs.

In addition, notes Nash, the association is preparing to establish a monthly “Bruno Owens Award” (the nature of which has yet to be decided), to go to the merchant who makes the greatest effort to clean or beautify his or her storefront, sidewalk, or surrounding area. Winners will also be publicized in that month’s edition of the Denton Voice.

For the scoop on the April clean-up, call Nash at his office.

The merchants’ clean-up efforts, by the way, are in part modeled after the “Litter Stop Officer” program founded by the North & South of Joan Street Improvement Club, and endorsed by other neighborhood groups.

This program, formerly headed by Bruno Owens and now directed by North& South member Matthew Melton, currently has over a dozen participants, who —armed with bags and vests provided by the club and the city — are picking up litter on their own blocks at least twice a week.

To encourage the crew, the Denton Merchants and Professionals Association, together with an anonymous local merchant, have set up a monthly lottery offering a $60 gift certificate to winning block officers.

To sign on as a block captain, give Melton a call.