Clean times

Volunteers young and old worked for nearly three hours Saturday morning to help clean up Foothill Boulevard.

In a collaborative effort between a number of city and community organizations, including Glendale Neighborhood Services, Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale and Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce, more than 300 volunteers showed up at Dunsmore Park for the 17th annual Foothill Clean-up Day.

Volunteers helped with everything from weed abatement, picking up litter, collecting cigarette butts and filling sandbags during the "Make a Difference Day" project.

High school students from Glendale, the Crescenta Valley and even Artesia arrived to help as part of their community service and current world affairs clubs, advanced placement environmental science classes or to supplement college applications.

Jamie Speakman and Christina Vannithone, students at Crescenta Valley High School, were happy to help clean up Foothill Boulevard.

"We are just here to help," said Vannithone as Speakman gingerly picked up an unidentifiable piece of garbage along the sidewalk.

This was the first time both girls have participated in the clean-up day, and although neither came as part of a school group, they will be adding the event to their college resumes.

Part of their team included members from Girl Scout Troup No. 55.

Elizabeth Stafford, 10, and Sophia Pappas, 11, were surprised at how much trash they found along the sidewalk.

Volunteers were provided with all the tools and supplies they would need at the start of the day.

"I think it went wonderfully," said Eleanor Wacker, a member of the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce who has participated in the Foothill clean-up day since the chamber started the event 20 years ago. "It's always very satisfying and very rewarding to be with a group of people who want to benefit the community."

Wacker is happy to see the progress the area has made.

"We've seen a great improvement, and there is much less to pick up," Wacker said. "Places are neater, and you can see a bit more pride in ownership in the area."

She is also pleased that the clean-up day has not needed to paint out graffiti in at least 15 years.

Besides general beautification, volunteers competed to collect the most cigarette butts in their assigned areas and prepare free sandbags for the community.

About 1,000 sandbags were filled and will be distributed in the neighborhood and are available for pickup at Dunsmore Park any time.

"I think it was a big success," said Sandra Rodriguez, Glendale's program coordinator for the event. "We had happy workers, and people walked away feeling like they did something good for the community."

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World