About 100 volunteers from Monterey Park-based community groups participated in the city’s quarterly Community Cleanup Day held last weekend.
The groups, which included residents, students and Fire and Police Explorers, showed up ready to beautify La Loma Park on Fulton Avenue, where they painted, landscaped and picked up trash.
Monterey Park Vice Mayor Teresa Real Sebastian has organized the quarterly clean up days in the city since 2011. “I saw a need” to get people involved in beautifying the community, Sebastian told EGP. “What better way than the parks that are used by the community.”
Resident Nancy Guan told EGP she was moved to help clean her city after watching a man clean a public sidewalk while out on his morning walk.
Now “I’m happy to help,” Guan said.
Planning Commissioner Larry Sullivan frequently volunteers and organizes events across the city and says he enjoys seeing the impact those events have on the community.
Events like last Saturday’s cleanup bring new life to the parks, Sullivan said. “We can look back and be proud of what we have done for the residents,” he said, adding he hopes residents will recognize their efforts “and come out and enjoy the parks.”
Student Roland Troung said he and other volunteers from his school have participated in previous cleanup events. At the end of the day, they always feel a sense of accomplishment, he told EGP.
“We feel proud that we did get work done and that we see a difference in the park,” Troung said. “It was an opportunity for all of us to come and serve the community.”
Since 2001, Monterey Park has conducted four cleanup days across the city.
But volunteering at cleanup days is not the only way to help the local community, volunteer Efrain Iraheta, a Monterey Park Fire Explorer, told EGP. People can do their part by doing a better job of keeping the parks clean when they visit them, Iraheta emphasized.
Monterey Park Rotary Club President David Antasin told EGP he hopes more people volunteer at the next cleanup day, which, according to Dan Costley, the city’s Recreation and Community Service director, could take place sometime next spring.
Costley told EGP the event’s success can be measured in two ways: “Its a success for getting everyone here, and physically with how much better the park looks.”