Keeping Laguna Beach clean, which isn’t as easy as it looks.
Behind the scenes
Although it may seem to have that naturally immaculate charm, the
underlying truth is that Laguna is littered with just as much trash
as the next city. It may be surf wax wrappers instead of Big Mac
remains, and empty wine bottles instead of beer cans, but a great
deal of cleanup goes on behind the scenes every morning to make the
city what it is.
Anthony Condon, a Laguna Beach municipal services employee in
charge of the parks department, has been responsible for the
maintenance, landscape and irrigation of the city’s parks and
vegetation for 15 years.
The oldest of 13 kids, Condon grew up in Corona del Mar and
graduated from Orange Coast College. After moving to Laguna, he found
himself wanting to give something back to the unique city that he was
a part of.
Now many Lagunans know him as “that guy who works for the city,”
and he calls Laguna the cleanest city in the Southland.
“I start early in the morning with my crew, usually about four
o’clock, and we cover the entire city with one or two trucks,” Condon
They clean up trash left over from concerts, in heavy tourist
spots and around merchant areas. They also take care off fallen trees
and broken pipes, trim trees and do anything else that needs repair
Because his heart’s in it
“I made a commitment to my city, and it gives back to me,” he
said. “And between hard work and commitment, I get to keep the place
clean where I live, work and surf.”
Surfing is another part of Condon’s life that he has turned to his
advantage. Quicksilver Boardrider’s Club sponsors him to surf in
places like Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia and Fiji.
“I loved traveling when my parents took me as a kid, and I still
love it today,” he said. “I travel as often as I can so I can meet
new people and see different places.”
The most recent addition to Laguna Beach’s parks is Brown Park,
the donated structure and landscaping on the shore side of Coast
Highway that provides a lookout spot and another place for Condon to
keep up. Condon works to keep all of Laguna’s parks clean and their
“We have planted about 100 new trees since I’ve been on the job,”
he said. “We take out the old and sick ones and replace them with
Of how he is able to maintain the entire city of Laguna Beach
every day, Condon said, “I work with a crew of guys that make it
possible, I can’t do it alone. We all work hard early in the morning
so the tourists and merchants never see it dirty.”
-- Story by Heather Struck;
photo by Douglas H. Kim