By Allen Field
Approximately two hundred and fifty volunteers, young and old, fanned out from locations near 82nd Ave. and the Central Christian Church on SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. to clean up litter and graffiti as part of the second annual Paint the Town Green event.
The day was organized by nine neighborhood associations: Lents, Foster-Powell, Mt. Scott-Arleta, Brentwood-Darlington, Montavilla, Mt. Tabor, Richmond, Sunnyside and HAND.
The event was sponsored by Metro, KINK FM radio, Portland’s Graffiti Program within the Office of Community and Civic Life, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Keep It Pretty Rose City program, SOLVE, and SE Uplift.
In two hours, volunteers picked up a half a ton of litter, including two mattresses, a box spring and four passenger tires near 82nd Ave.

Volunteers cleaning up Hawthorne Blvd.

Along Hawthorne, Division, and Clinton, fifteen pounds of cigarette butts were collected and sent off for recycling. Volunteers dropped off their litter bags at predesignated locations, which Metro’s RID (Regional Illegal Dump) collected later in the day. Graffiti was cleaned off of utility poles and boxes, and the City’s Graffiti Program worked with Graffiti Removal Services to remove graffiti off of buildings.
After the cleanup was over, volunteers gathered at Glenwood Park for food provided by Shawarma Express, and at Central Christian Church for lunch provided by Pepino’s Mexican Grill and a free raffle with prizes donated by many local businesses.
The hope next year is to expand this event to even more neighborhoods.