Saturday, August 18, 2007

Notes on the Polk Street Clean Up

I arrived at Its A Grind coffee house at 1800 Polk at about 9:30 am and Kirstin, Dawn, Frank and Wylie were already hard at work getting all the supplies organized.

The San Francisco DPW provided trash bags, brooms, orange vests and work gloves. Its A Grind stored the equipment for the group.

At 9:40 Frank was officially worried that no one was going to show. By 9:45 there were so many folks you couldn't sign them in fast enough.

The Middle Polk Leadership team was thoroughly organized, not just with equipment, but with route cards for each team, contact numbers for the leaders, and Middle Polk Association cards for passersby who might request more information.

Wylie teamed me up with Sri, a very nice young man who has attended three clean up sessions and will soon be leaving the Polk neighborhood due to a job change that will take him south of San Francisco. I said he was nice, yes? He's on his way out and still believes in the importance of supporting this community that he has become a part of.

Our little band of cleaners set out in our orange vests and green DPW-provided t-shirts. The consensus was that half of the trash we picked up was cigarette butts. Sri and I found lots of larger cast off items - a futon, paint and lots of boxes. We called 311 to report the larger items for pick up.

Sri and I collected three bags of garbage by the end of our route and headed back to Its a Grind to turn in our equipment. Volunteers from the whole Polk Clean Up Day met up at a park on Broadway and Larkin for some delicious Vietnamese sandwiches and called it a day.

Meeting the neighbors, cleaning up the street - good use of a fine day.

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