Downtown Street Ambassadors Achieve Success
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 13, 2017
Contact: Mark Corum, director of media services
As 2017 comes to a close, the Downtown Street Ambassadors have cause for celebration. The amount of litter being collected has declined for the past two months indicating a degree of success with the program.
Since kicking off on April 1, the Downtown Street Ambassadors have removed 2,714 bags of litter from the streets and alleyways of the heart of our city, which encompasses 17th to 22nd and F to M Streets. That is an average of 340 bags collected per month; however, those numbers decreased in October with just 290 bags and 298 bags in November. “This is a positive indicator that not only are the Downtown Street Ambassadors to be commended for their hard work,” said Harvey L. Hall who is the funding benefactor for this year’s program, “those who live, work, and visit downtown appear to be disposing of their trash properly. It is very encouraging to see such success!”
Downtown merchants were encouraged to get on the beautification bandwagon as well. Earlier this year, Hall wrote a letter to business owners in the core area encouraging them to invest a little bit of time each day to ensure the area outside of their storefront is litter-free. Participating businesses received a window sticker for their storefront indicating their support of the program.
Detailed monthly reporting reveals that the Downtown Street Ambassadors are doing even more than picking up litter in their effort to create an environment that is clean, safe, and inviting. Weeds are being eradicated, sidewalks and gutters are being swept, and plants are being watered.
Lastly, the two-man crew who work five hours a day, four days a week are learning valuable skills that will help them return to the workforce with the confidence needed to put themselves on the path to self-sufficiency.
Hall was impressed by the results of the pilot project started in 2016 as a collaboration between the Downtown Business Association, Downtown Bakersfield Development Corporation, Bakersfield Homeless Center, Garden Pathways, The Mission at Kern County and Keep Bakersfield Beautiful so it was an easy decision for him to step forward on February 15 and underwrite the costs of this year’s program.
During his 16-years as mayor, Hall placed a high emphasis on city beautification and litter clean-up through the programs he organized including Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, the Mayor’s Freeway Cleanup, and the Great American Cleanup.