The Pacific Beach Town Council and PB Presbyterian Church are once again coordinating a graffiti clean-up event, and organizers are looking for volunteers to help. The event is slated for Saturday, May 3 from 9 a.m. until noon at PB Presbyterian Church, located at 1675 Garnet Ave.
“We’ll have all the material to really clean up the community,” said Adam Meyer, viice president of the PB Town Council and a member of the committee organizing the event.
“All we need are the people,” he said. “ Last year, we had 75 volunteers, and we wiped out 1,042 graffiti ‘tags’ in just one day.”
Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church began hosting this annual Graffiti Clean-Up Day event in 2007, led by Elder Larry Jeffrey, according to committee member Steve Ritz.
When volunteers arrive at the church, each team will get a bucket full of supplies to remove paint, stickers and marking-pen ink.
Each volunteer will also be given gloves, goggles and towels before being assigned a specific zone to attack.
“We don’t just hand someone a bucket and send them out in search of graffiti,” said Jim Menders, another member of the planning committee. “We split up PB into 16 zones. For the past few weeks, volunteers have been surveying the community, taking note of graffiti that needs to be cleaned up. Every team gets a map of their zone, showing where there’s work to be done.”
“Getting rid of graffiti isn’t just a matter of pride,” said Marcie Beckett, another PB Town Council member. “Research shows that when the appearance of a neighborhood improves, the behavior of people improves, too. For example, when there’s less graffiti, there’s less litter, as well.
Students who help can earn community-service hours. However, Beckett says there are also long-term benefits when young people get involved.
“They learn how graffiti affects their neighborhood, and they take pride in how their neighborhood looks,” Beckett said. “That feeling of connection with their community means they’re less likely to litter or do any tagging themselves.”
Waivers for those under the age of 18 will need to be signed by a parent and can be found at www.pbtowncouncil.org.
Volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and old clothes, because they might get a few paint spots on them.