T-Mobile Park Community Cleanup Recap
This article originally appeared on KOMO news. Click here to read the article in its original format: Hundreds volunteer to clean up T-Mobile Park area ahead of All-Star Week
SEATTLE — Organizers say more than 450 people showed up to a community cleanup event in Seattle on Friday morning.
Called the Mariners Day of Service, the event was put on by the baseball team, and other neighborhood organizations to beautify neighborhoods next to T-Mobile Park ahead of the MLB All-Star Week, as tourists from across the country will come to Seattle.
Groups took part in pressure washing, litter removal, landscaping and painted over graffiti near the ballpark, the Waterfront, SODO, Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District.
Organizer Tim Gaydos with Together Washington said this is a foundation for continued improvement in the city.
Seattle resident and volunteer Charles Coker was picking up trash in SODO and said “we’re out here to make a change and make the city better.”
KOMO News asked Coker if he thinks this will last, “yes, if I can help it!”
This “is a stepping stone,” Coker said, “and you can add building blocks to a stepping stone.”
"This isn't just a one-and-done. This isn't like, 'Oh, let's go back to maybe the way this neighborhood looked before All-Star Game,' no, we want to build off this," Gaydos said.
There are some challenges that will take more work to fix, like homelessness and public drug use.
The day before the event, we asked Mayor Bruce Harrell's team to address those concerns.
They maintain that crime has decreased by 25% in downtown areas (CID, Pioneer Square, Belltown, Commercial Core). That "tents across the city have declined 42% and RVs in encampments are down 29%" and they said extra resources will be ready to help in parking enforcement during the All-Star Week.
“It’s important to get the city looking good,” Volunteer Loyd Hogan said, "we’ve got a lot of people coming to town.”
Hogan, who routinely works on graffiti removal in Belltown, put his skills to use at a building along the Waterfront.
“The future of the city depends on it,” Hogan said when asked how important it is that this cleanup lasts, “I got my kids and grandkids who live here. What kind of a future do I want to leave for my children and grandchildren? Do I want to leave a city full of graffiti and drug dealers and tents and shooting people in the streets? Or do I want to leave this place squared away when I leave?”
See a full photo gallery of the event here: T-Mobile Park Community Cleanup Photo Gallery