Volunteers clean out Lent School path area

Here’s why an outer East Portland neighbor helped organize a Saturday-afternoon path- preening party. You’ll be amazed how much rubbish they collected …

In the Lents neighborhood, along the I-205 Multi-purpose Path next to Oliver P. Lent Elementary School, volunteers remove filthy refuse, trash, and garbage – lots of it!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Individuals, couples, and family members assembled on both sides of what’s known as the “Lent School Pedestrian Overpass” segment of the Interstate 205 Multi-Purpose Path at noon, on February 6, with a common purpose: Ridding the area of trash, refuse, and used hypodermic needles.

As the cleanup got underway, about a dozen people had already gloved up, grabbed “litter pickers” and trash bags, and started cleaning the area – a project of the Lents Neighborhood Livability Association.

Here, picking up trash on the pedestrian bridge section of the I-205 Multi-purpose Path are volunteers Maisy Borden and Amy Hoffmann.

One group of volunteers worked on the east side, where the path comes out on SE Steele Street at 96th Avenue, along the south end of Oliver P. Lent Elementary School. They found a “trash dump” on the jug-handle of the path, from which they filled bags with filthy refuse.

On the west side, where SE Steele Street dead-ends at the freeway, another group of volunteers picked up litter and debris in the cul-de-sac, and on the perimeter of a large homeless encampment.

With her “sharps” container in hand, for disposing discarded needles, we found event organizer Sandra Pace.

“I’ve been doing this for a while, because I’ve lived here for 27 years; and my kids – they’re adults now – attended Lent Elementary,” remarked long-time Lents neighbor and the day’s organizer, Sandra Pace.

“Part of the reason I’m here and doing this is because, I guess you could say I’m a ‘clean freak’ who wants to keep this area safe and clean,” Pace told East Portland News. “For example, I don’t want hypodermic needles all over, especially were kids are walking, crossing over the freeway – I found 23 needles here in one day! – that’s why I carry a large ‘sharps container’ with me.”

Portland Youth Builders Mathematics Teacher Chazaq Llinas, and a volunteer from the Laurelhurst neighborhood, Sarah Penhune, are two who were picking up trash.

“For the health, safety, and beauty of our neighborhood that I love so much, I want to keep it clean; I just don’t like garbage!” Pace exclaimed. “And, it really helps when we have lots of volunteers show up, like they did today.”

Stalwart volunteers from the Lents Neighborhood Livability Association David Potts and Char Pennie pick up trash in the SE Steele Street cul-de-sac.

When it was over, the volunteers had collected 32 bags, stuffed full of trash – that’s about 3/4 ton of refuse that was removed from the area in one day.

To learn more about the efforts of the all-volunteer Lents Neighborhood Livability Association, CLICK HERE.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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