A Day in the Life of an Ambassador: Winter Edition
While a typical office job is a 40-hour, five-day work week, our downtown Rochester Clean and Safe Ambassadors are out daily for a total of 81 hours a week in downtown Rochester. Even in a Minnesota winter, they focus on the following tasks to keep downtown a clean and safe environment for all who visit and work in the 44 blocks of downtown.
Snow and ice mitigation
Love it or dislike it, snow is inevitable during a Minnesota winter. When the white stuff does fall, our Ambassadors break out the shovels to scoop away the snow from pedestrian crosswalks, around fire hydrants, and in downtown public spaces like Peace Plaza. Ice is another wintery concern of the Ambassadors’. Because the City of Rochester follows state of Minnesota permits to prohibit the application of salt/chemical deicer, which would pollute city storm water, Ambassadors are working with the City's Storm Water Department and are learning about “Smart Salting” strategies to reduce pollution.
Quick stat: 120 street corners cleared from December 2020 to January 22, 2021
Power washing spills and biohazards
Ambassadors make sure the unsightly stains and spills on downtown sidewalks are taken care of by power washing. While 32 degrees is considered a “warm” winter day in Minnesota, that is the temperature cut-off at which the Ambassadors can power wash. When it comes to biohazards, we won’t lie: Ambassadors deal with some crap (i.e. crow feces) and do their best to safely and properly clean it up.
Quick stat: 72 instances of power washing in December 2020
Safety escort services
Are you a downtown employee who gets off work late or a visitor who would like someone to walk you to your car after dark? Have peace of mind knowing an Ambassador is just a call away to get a safety escort to where you need to go with the 44-block downtown. The phone number to call is 507-316-7511.
Quick stat: Six safety escorts in the last three months
While not the most glamorous part of the job, Ambassadors help make sure the streets of downtown Rochester are free of litter. That means grabbing it off the ground and emptying any full bins to keep our downtown looking its best!
Quick stat: 140 bags of trash collected in December 2020
Tagging may be the work of a graffitist, but removing unwanted marks is the Ambassadors’ mission. They work quickly to remove graffiti and keep the downtown art scene to works like those on the ArtWALK. Fun fact: Ambassadors use a powerful remover called Elephant Snot!
Quick stat: 84 instances of vandalism removed in December 2020
Wayfinding and hospitality assistance
Looking for a specific place in downtown or just wondering about downtown businesses’ offerings? Ask an Ambassador! Because they are checking in regularly, they know the businesses and what they can offer downtown visitors. These friendly faces will also be glad to point you in the right direction (let’s face it: the pedestrian skyway and subway systems in downtown can get a little disorienting!).
Quick stat: 63 hospitality assists in December 2020