1,191 volunteers took part in 12 community cleanup and beautification projects across this city this morning as Beautify Fresno celebrated its first Great American Cleanup as part of its affiliation with Keep America Beautiful. More than 10,500 pounds of trash and litter were removed from streets, parks, highway embankments and riverfronts, while also planting over 150 trees and removing 3,500 square feet of graffiti, all within a two-hour period.
The Great American Cleanup was sponsored by the City of Fresno, California Volunteers, California Climate Action Corps, Clean Fresno, the Downtown Fresno Partnership, Keep California Beautiful, Lowe’s, Southwest Airlines, Ulta Beauty, Producers Dairy, One Putt Broadcasting, the Fresno Grizzlies, Mid Valley Recycling, Caglia Environmental, and Olympic Property Services.
The projects were made possible through the support of some of Fresno’s top organizations and businesses, including the Downtown Fresno Partnership, Tree Fresno, Goldstein’s Mortuary and Delicatessen, the Tower District Marketing Committee, San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, Lifebridge Community Church, Fresno Metro Ministry, the Better Blackstone Association, and the Fresno Community Health Improvement Partnership (FCHIP), New Covenant Community Church, Clinica Sierra Vista, Saint Rest Baptist Church, Every Neighborhood Partnership, Americorps, the 144th Air National Guard Fighter Wing, and the Fresno City College Fire Academy.
Beautify Fresno is one of the Mayor Jerry Dyer’s top priorities with a mission to inspire everyone to take pride in their community and to show the community that we can all take action to make Fresno a cleaner, greener, better place to live. “We have a beautiful city, but sometimes our neighborhoods aren’t so beautiful,” said Mayor Dyer. “We need to restore Fresno’s curb appeal and build a new sense of pride in our city. That’s the purpose of Beautify Fresno – it’s not a one-weekend-a-month deal or something we work on only when we have the time, it’s going to be something that we focus on every day.”
The projects included cleanups in historic areas such as the Brewery District downtown and the Tower District, the Shaw Avenue Corridor in west Fresno, industrial areas near Fresno Yosemite International Airport and central Fresno, and neighborhoods around Fort Miller Middle School, Roosevelt High School, and Saint Rest Baptist Church in southwest Fresno.
Other projects had specific interests. The tree planting event with Tree Fresno at Green Valley Recycling, just off Highway 99 and the North Ave. exit will ultimately include nearly 400 trees and other plants, and is funded by CalFire and the California High Speed Rail Authority. On the north end of Fresno, 80 volunteers joined the River Parkway Trust to pick up litter that has accumulated in the River West area along the San Joaquin River and nearby ponds at the Spano River Ranch.
Caltrans joined the spirit of the Great American Cleanup by hosting its own separate cleanup up project that saw over 30 of their employees working along westbound State Route 180 between Cedar and Clovis Avenues in three separate groups between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. today to pick up trash off the highway.
“Thank you to the City of Fresno, California Climate Action Corps and all the partnering organizations for making this day of action possible. California Volunteers works with nonprofit organizations throughout the state to support to meaningful efforts like these to build a statewide culture of volunteerism, and specifically climate service,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “There are opportunities for all Californians to answer the call to serve, and with the launch of our volunteer hub we have developed a simple way to get involved today in service to your community.”
Following the completion of the cleanup and beautification projects, participants were invited to an outdoor “thank you” rally in the H Street parking lot, across from Chukchansi Park, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. with food trucks from Fresno Street Eats, music and activities..
The Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup™ (GAC) is one of the largest community service events in the nation. GAC takes place nationwide during the spring as part of Earth Day celebrations and prompts individuals to take greater responsibility for their local environment by conducting grassroots community service projects that engage volunteers, local businesses, and civic leaders.
Beautify Fresno follows guidance from our national advisors at Keep America Beautiful, as well as all health and safety protocols from the CDC and the Fresno County Department of Public Health. Safety vests, paper pickers, gloves and trash bags, along with pre-packaged snacks and bottled water will be provided to volunteers.