More than 40 volunteers from local churches pitched in Saturday morning to remove trash and debris along major roads intersecting with State Routes 52 and 125
The volunteers collected 30 bags of trash that together weighed more than 200 pounds, along with four abandoned shopping carts.
The massive cleanup, organized by the Santee Ministerial Council, was the first to include members from several churches including Newbreak, Sunrise and United Methodist.
“Our vision is to unite all the interfaith groups in Santee and work side-by-side to beautify our community,” said Marsi Walker, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who helped organize the cleanup.
The areas cleaned up Saturday morning are right-of-ways owned by the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which historically has relied on community groups, volunteers and businesses to keep roadways tidy through its “Adopt-a-Highway” program.Santee is trying to establish a Right-of-Way Adoption program aimed at cleaning areas near freeway onramps and offramps created when State Route 52 was extended across the city in 2011.
When landscaping along the new section of SR 52 is completed in 2015, Caltrans will rely more heavily on volunteers for trash removal.“We want to get ahead of that and make sure we can keep those areas looking nice and trash-free and weed-free,” said Santee’s Parks and Landscape Supervisor Annette Saul.
Anyone interested in helping out should contact Saul at firstname.lastname@example.org