On the morning of Monday Aug 5, 2013 the legendary local business, Bi-Rite Creamery and Market, hosted a volunteer work-party at Mission Dolores Park in collaboration with the neighborhood group, Dolores Park Works. Mission Dolores Park is one of the most popular public spaces within the City of San Francisco. It has supported the recreational pursuits of many generations of Mission District residents. On any given weekend, you will find thousands of visitors frolicking on the expansive green lawns and basking in the ever-present California sunshine. The extraordinary popularity of the park is one of its greatest strengths and greatest challenges– particularly in terms of the mountains of trash which are carelessly left behind by weekend visitors.
Volunteers started the day by fueling-up with coffee and tasty treats generously donated by Bi-Rite, and then “tooled-up” with gloves, pick-up sticks and rakes. While enjoying stunning city views and lively conversation, they diligently collected over twenty bags of litter from alongside the tracks on the western edge of the park. First-time volunteers were surprised by how much effort is required to dislodge bottle-caps and cigarette butts embedded into the lawn by the footsteps of legions of park visitors. These unwanted souvenirs account for the vast majority of litter that mars the park landscape and degrades the user experience. They are reminders of the urgency of the SFRPD mantra, “Pack it in. Pack it out!”