Saturday, October 6, 2018

Volunteer Day: Clean & Green

Clean & Green Team!
Today I'd requested the help of SP DPW's Clean & Green Team to get rid of some debris at the garden. I didn't actually think it was that much stuff but it ended up being a LOT. Chris, Carrie, Aditi, Josh, Gina and Hilary joined me too, and we started at 9am - by the time everyone left at 1.30pm, a huge list of things was accomplished.

First up, the encampments. This has been a brutal week for encampments at PG and the entire back area was overrun, with almost all the plants there being trashed, or burned, and the tool box being broken into and ransacked.

Officer Foltz and Gina
On Friday, Chris witnessed the carnage, and told the thieves what he thought of it all in no uncertain terms. Shortly after, the police arrived and later on, Carrie filed a police report for us.

Meanwhile down at PRG, Gina and Aditi have been reporting the encampments there. It takes a team of committed neighbors to keep this place decent, and calling the police is the first step.

The Hasps of Doom
So, at PG we set about picking up all the trash and the dozens of needles. We cleaned out the tool box, and Chris put on new, very strong hasps, and a heavy strip of wood to hold them in, as well as fixing the somewhat loose back. We don't leave the expensive tools there, but it feels very safe now. And very tidy.

I called my contact at Caltrans to get the hole in the bottom fence fixed (yet again) and moaned to Charlie from SFPA, who was on site with the Clean & Green guys, about our situation. He was very sympathetic, and told me about a new program for cleaning up encampments that's being initiated now. Can't wait to hear more.

About 25 needles picked up...
While the Clean & Green Team removed the entire debris pile at the top of the garden, which looked like about 10 yards of stuff, as well as loads of trash, and loaded it into dump trucks, Carrie, Aditi, Hilary and Josh cut back the Brugmansia, Leonotis and Salvia canariensis. A ton of weeds got pulled too, especially from the garden edges by the off-ramp.

Inviting pathway
Next up the team spread wood chips on the lower path, which I have to say is looking really nice now.

Gina was at PRG picking up trash and let me know about the THREE encampments there. I called the police right away and a nice officer tried to roust them but no luck: SFPD's homeless team were called and they should visit today to sort this out... what with those encampments having been there for going on 2 months now though, and many 311 and police calls being made, I will be shocked if they move soon...

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