Karen Harrington, a resident in a Vintage Parkway neighborhood, was tired of looking at the trash, broken fences and tattered landscape near her home, so she took matters into her own hands and contacted the city. Harrington rallied her neighbors and asked the city what it could do to make changes in the community.
The city responded, and together, the neighbors and city representatives work together to organize biweekly cleanup events on Saturday mornings. The group regularly picks up trash, tends landscaping and paints and repairs decayed fencing along Vintage Parkway.
“I’m so proud of my neighbors for coming together to make a difference,” Harrington said at a recent neighborhood meeting hosted at City Hall. “It shows what positive changes can come about when a group of people get together and put in that effort to make their neighborhood shine.”
The Vintage Parkway group hosts its next clean up Saturday, Aug. 11. All members of the community are welcome to join. The group began meeting in May and has made significant progress, but more volunteers and supplies are always needed. The city has scheduled a mass volunteer event for Sept. 8, inviting local service groups to work alongside the Vintage Parkway group to encourage other neighborhoods to get involved in their own communities.
“The city encourages neighbors to get together and encourage each other to contribute to cleaning up their neighborhood,” said Nancy Marquez, assistant to the Oakley city manager. “If people are willing to take back their community and take a stand, the city will assist in whatever way we can.”
Marquez said the city hopes other neighborhoods will take notice of what’s going on at Vintage Parkway and create their own clean up models. So far, communities in the Quail Glen and Parklands neighborhoods have reached out to the city for support and expressed interest in starting similar cleanup groups.
For more information on how to organize a community cleanup in your area, call Marquez at 925-625-7007 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.