It was then he realized the power of a community coming together to make a difference.
“A lady mentioned she had brought her kids to the park, and it was dirty after a party,” Cook said. “This was one of the easiest neighborhood cleanup events we have had.”
Attendance at the monthly event increased to about 60 people compared to the normal 10 during Saturday’s event around City Park.
“When people want to come out and pick up trash, it shows they have pride in their community,” said Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando.
Many of the volunteers represented community organizations while others came out to show pride in their community. “We’re out here because we take pride in our community,” said Antioch City Council candidate Monica Wilson. We want it to look nice. It’s great to have a neighborhood where you don’t have to pick up a lot of garbage. But even if you do, it’s great to help out and be active in the community.”
The highlight of the event might have been the fun challenge of finding the trash and determining how to get it into a small bag or the junk pile.
Members of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School’s Interact Club smiled and laughed as they came across a long piece of rubber in need of a plastic bag. “We try to come out here as often as possible,” said Interact member Allan Martinez. “It’s fun.”
Before long, Antioch Rotary Club member Jeff Warrenburg walked hunched over as he rolled a deflated tire down the sidewalk to a waiting junk pile. “Hey, I could use that,” Rotary member Tom Hartrick said before the tire was placed among the chunks of cement, old pieces of rubber, cardboard and an open bag of cat food for disposal.
In just over an hour, the surroundings of the 1000 block of A Street went from littered to litter-free in what amounted to one of the easiest cleanup events in the program’s history.
“Oh man, the one down by the post office was terrible,” Cook said. “We were out there for three or four hours.”
Barring inclement weather, future neighborhood cleanup events will be scheduled for the first Saturday of the month, locations announced in advance. Cleanup areas, including residential neighborhoods, businesses and commercial areas, can be suggested by calling 925-779-6878.