Neighborhood spring cleanup in jeopardy

Last year, Mountain View’s spring cleanup removed around 200 tons of trash from the neighborhood.

This year, that number may be down to zero.

With time running out to plan the weeklong event, the fate of the annual cleanup was called into question at Monday’s Mountain View Community Council meeting. The volunteer-led effort faces one major hurdle: Space.

The cleanup — which usually involves a drop-off lot, a street sweep and house calls — was traditionally held in the parking lot of the old Brewster’s building and on the property next door. This year, Brewster’s is gone and the adjacent empty lot holds rows of new duplexes. Scott Kohlhaas, who’s organized the cleanup effort for years, said finding an equal replacement would be difficult.

“Without that, we’re in trouble,” he said Thursday.

Community council members came up with several ideas but no sure solutions. Some people suggested holding the cleanup at Davis Park, or near the storage facility on the south side of Mountain View Drive.  It has to be somewhere central enough for easy neighborhood access, Kohlhaas said.

Once there’s a lot, he said, organizing the event is “a 25-call situation.” He said he’ll do it again this year if someone can find a place to host the cleanup.

People pretty much expect it to take place every spring. All you have to do, Kohlhaas said, is call about half a dozen neighborhood leaders; a few volunteer organizations; several businesses. It can be done in about two weeks. But it’s been getting harder over the years. Longtime volunteers pass away or can no longer help. Space disappears.

“It seems to have been whittled down to nothing,” Kohlhaas said.

Mountain View resident Niki Burrows said the lack of volunteers also puts a kink in the usual plans. Unless the land and manpower can come together soon, there won’t be a neighborhood cleanup this spring.

“We have no bodies and we have no space, so we have a problem that we need to solve quickly,” Burrows said at the Monday council meeting.

Have an idea? Click here to contact the community council.


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