May 23: Residents throughout Mojave joined forces on Friday morning to embark on a massive project to clean up the entire Western Village neighborhood in Mojave. About 30 volunteers, mostly from the affected neighborhood, removed couches, mattresses, and garbage from the streets and alleyways of Edwin, Arthur and Milton streets. Four County agencies contributed to this effort including Code Compliance, Waste Management, County Roads and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO). Most of the volunteers were informed of the event during a door-to-door campaign conducted by The Mojave Foundation the previous Monday. The volunteers also inspired many neighbors to come outside during the cleanup with their kids and relatives and start picking up their own yards. The Mojave Foundation is confident that the local residents are now invested in helping to KEEP the neighborhood clean and make this cleanup sustainable.
Friday’s cleanup was a joint effort between The Mojave Foundation, local volunteers and four County agencies. Code Compliance provided the trash bags and gloves, Waste Management provided access to the dump, KCSO proved the CSU volunteers for security, and most importantly, Kern County Roads provided three dump trucks and five drivers, which was critical this event. County Roads employees – some of which are from Mojave – hauled away 11 dump-truck loads in less than 3 hours (equivalent to about 25 pickup trucks full). Under the leadership of Mojave Roads Foreman, Dan Duckworth, volunteers were able to work at maximum efficiency for three hours, removing every mattress, couch, and fire hazard in Western Village. The Mojave Foundation considers this a “force multiplier”, and salutes Mr. Duckworth and his crew’s professionalism and proficiency.
The Mojave Foundation would also like to credit Leon Ryder for conceiving of Friday’s cleanup, and inspiring residents and volunteers all over Mojave to pitch in. Mr. Ryder, who spontaneously decided to paint over some graffiti in his neighborhood several months ago, has inspired a grass-roots miniature revolution in Western Village and all over Mojave. Mr. Ryder and The Mojave Foundation are now working directly with residents and Kern County General Services to remove graffiti immediately and efficiently. The Mojave Foundation salutes Mr. Ryder’s “leadership by example” and countless volunteers who made this and other cleanups possible. For more information on how you can volunteer fill out one of our volunteer forms. Click here for information on how you can donate to the cause.