People pitch in to clean up Lents Town Center streets

WATCH EXCLUSIVE VIDEO | Here’s why so many folks turned up in outer East Portland to pick trash and debris off the streets and sidewalks of Lents …

The first of dozens of pre-registered volunteers meet here, outside Refuge Coffee House, to sign in for the street clean-up.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On the clear – but chilly and breezy – Saturday morning of February 12, East Portland Collective, Four Forces Inc., and Lents Grown Business Association coordinated with SOLVE Oregon to run a street clean-up in Lents Town Center.

The special weekend actually started the night before with the Really, Really Free MarketCLICK HERE to read about that.

Handing out safety vests, as she checks in volunteers, is Jennifer Hardnett from Four Forces Inc. She’s also a Captain with SOLVE.

“It’s true! I’ve organized Street Clean-ups here in Lents in the past,” said Jean Fang, a SOLVE organizer, and a volunteer with the East Portland Collective.

“We’re doing this again because it’s something that really brings people together,” Fang remarked to East Portland News.

Lents Neighborhood NET Team members Lindsey Kennedy, Mark Crummett, Patrick Norton, and Greg Qualey say they’re ready to pick up trash.

Clean-up organizer Jean Fang welcomes volunteers, and begins the orientation for the morning’s activity.

“People create street trash and litter,” observed Fang. “I think there is a misperception that only ‘certain people’ create trash, which is just not true.

“And, another connection between trash and community is that events like these are a wonderful way to bring people together, getting to know one another – while also supporting Lents, as they remove trash from our streets and sidewalks,” she elaborated.

See this remarkable, civic-minded group get ready, and then head out as they participate in this Street Litter Clean-up:

The Davidson-Wrobel family say they came from the Overlook neighborhood to help at the Lents Street Clean-up.

Volunteering for the western Lents Triangle area is Kara Klausing, who says she now lives in Tabor South, but is coming back to help her former neighborhood.

“This is a great partnership with SOLVE,” Fang pointed out. With their support, we have a way to dispose of all the debris that gets collected, and that’s really important!”

More and more volunteers arrived and checked in – they’d saved time by previously signing up online. “In the last three days, all of the volunteer spots – 50 of them, as I recall – were filled,” Fang said.

These volunteers, cleaning streets in Lents, are from the Clackamas High School Key Club.

“I’m so inspired that so many people are willing to support the neighborhood in our neighborhood,” concluded Fang.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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