NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANUPS MAKE GLEN PARK STREETS SPARKLE
How often have you walked by trash on Glen Park streets and grumbled to yourself, “I wish someone would clean this stuff up?” That someone might be–you.
Blessed as a transit hub with a BART station, freeway access and multiple MUNI bus lines, as well as a vibrant commercial center, Glen Park is also cursed with more than its share of street trash than would be the case in some other residential neighborhoods.
For a few years, Glen Park had an SFPW Corridor Ambassador who cleaned the streets in our bustling business area a couple of days a week. Neighbors got to know her and appreciated the work she did.
According to SFPW spokesperson Rachel Gordon, “The Glen Park corridor worker was reassigned for a promotive opportunity in April. We hope to have the Glen Park position backfilled by the end of this month.”
No doubt there will still be trash aplenty in the village and greater Glen Park for SFPW workers and volunteers alike.
Vincent Yuen, an energetic Richmond District dad, developed a program in April 2021, “Refuse Refuse,” which organizes volunteers to do monthly neighborhood cleanups all over the city.
For Yuen, it started as a way to share activities with his kids safely during the pandemic and grew from there.
He’s passionate about cleaning up the city block by block and the effect it has on building community cohesion and friendships among residents.
In the larger context, according to Yuen,
“As one of the greatest cities in the world, San Francisco deserves clean streets, neighborhoods, parks, and beaches. We must maintain a culture of cleanliness for our community and future generations. Let’s lead by example and show the world how it’s done!”
So, we Glen Parkers can don neon orange vests, grab a bag and a picker, and tackle the challenge as well.
Before cleanup… Photo: Marian Dalere
Refuse Refuse events are generally scheduled on Saturdays from 10:00 to around 11:30. With each cleanup the group gets more organized and efficient, as veterans help guide the newbies and teams fan out to address trouble spots.
Volunteers are cautioned to avoid hazardous materials and to use the 311 app to report large piles of trash or vegetation. (More on SF311 below.)
The first event garnered 29 volunteers and 46 bags of trash; the second one, 16 volunteers and 26 bags, which are picked up by Public Works, who also supplies the pickers and bags.
The meeting point is Critter Fritters pet supply store at 670 Chenery Street, where Tony the manager stores needed supplies and acts as overall booster for the event.
For a satisfying send off and return, and a chance for a friendly schmooze, snacks and refreshments were donated by the Glen Park Merchants Association, purchased from local businesses such as Pebbles Cafe, Cheese Boutique and Canyon Market.
Discount coupons were handed out to volunteers from Pebbles Café, Bello Café, Cheese Boutique, Perch, Critter Fritters and Viking Subs.
Among the people who’ve volunteered are children participating with their parents to get school credit for community service.
Surprisingly, there were also people from outside Glen Park who roam events all over the city. They say the activity checks a lot of boxes: getting to know different neighborhoods, meeting new people, and getting good exercise and fresh air.
During cleanup. Photos: Bonnee Waldstein
After the latest event it was already apparent that there was less trash accumulation, but certainly enough to occupy the Saturday time slot.
It sounds counterintuitive but starting a Saturday morning picking up trash in Glen Park leaves people with a positive attitude.
Also check the Important Upcoming Dates sidebar on this website.
If you forget to register, you will still be welcome!
311 GETS IT DONE
Picking up trash is one thing most Glen Parkers can do to burnish the neighborhood’s image.
When safety is the issue, that’s when the experts need to be called in.
One Glen Park resident has made it her mission to document the many faded crosswalks and stop warnings on our local streets, which pose danger to pedestrians and drivers alike.
By having the user-friendly SF311 Mobile App on her phone, she can quickly take a photo and jot a brief description of the issue on the app. The location is automatically recorded.
You can also reach SF311 online or by phone but most people find the app the easiest to use.
Here are a couple of examples with “BEFORE” photos.
Every request submitted gets routed to San Francisco Public Works. They either respond to the complaint or route it to the appropriate agency. The app has helpful features which allow for feedback and tracking of requests.
Here are the “AFTER” photos.
By using the SF311 app whenever we spot hazards and eyesores, we can make Glen Park always look like “AFTER.”