Posted by Steve Skibbie
No one likes litter, but it happens in any city, even Fresno. So, the Downtown Fresno Partnership is working with the City of Fresno and its capable citizenry to help reduce the problem. It makes a difference in the landscape and the people, too.
The School Of Unlimited Learning, an alternative education charter school located in Downtown Fresno has a group of service-project oriented youth called “Heart & Soul” that volunteered 14 students to walk a cleanup patrol from their school building at Calaveras and M Street all the way to Chinatown. The students worked both sides of the streets and into each alleyway, all around the Fulton Mall, fearlessly cleaning the sidewalks, curbs, gutters, landscaping areas and medians. Su Fang, Community Sanitation Supervisor for the City of Fresno supplied the litter-grabbers, trash bags and bright yellow vests. Su was very helpful and I picked up the equipment at the City Yard off of E Street.
I also was impressed with Heart & Soul’s teamwork, there was no complaining or slacking, everyone pitched in. Remember, these are high schoolers! They had a great time, too, lots of laughing about strange objects they found and some were even were competing over who would pick up the most litter. Some areas were very messy, Dumpsters that were supposed to be locked had been broken into and contents scattered. The students tackled the messes with gusto.
Fresno County EOC supervisor Jesse Parra pitched in right along with the kids and was an encouragement to the whole team. He explained how important it was to do a great job–which they took to heart, and the value of taking ownership for the beauty of our city.
I also made a point of introducing business owners, including Ralph of Fulton Shoes. Property and business owners are always a good connection for the students.
The students finished well after six hours of work and covering almost 8 miles of streets and alleyways. A pizza party luncheon welcomed them back to their school.
I’m hoping our Partnership does more work with volunteers like Heart & Soul. They love Downtown and demonstrated it. To become part of our ever-growing volunteer database, fill out this contact form:
Scroll down to see more photos.