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Volunteers from local schools and non-profits help pull weeds from city medians

EL PASO, Texas - Schools and non-profits are being asked to help clear weeds across the city of El Paso...and the city says they need the extra hands due to ongoing staffing shortages. 

“We had a wide range of people come out this morning just to help and clean the medians and keep the city nice and clean," Jesus Yamaguci Interim assistant director, environmental services

ABC-7 has been covering this story since the city first made the announcement and some members of the community have been showing their frustration over the cities response to the over growth.

And some reaction was concern over safety by kids in the community to help clear the weeds. 

ABC-7 spoke Nick Ybarra, an Assistant Director at the Environmental Services Department, and he ensured the safety of the event, including that the city will be closing off the street between Saul Kleinfield and Bob Mitchell while volunteers work on the medians along Montwood.

“We will provide them gloves, the tools, racks, hoes, shovels. That way, they can assist with pulling the weeds, we are providing dumpsters nearby and containers so they can have somewhere to throw the weeds,” said Ybarra.

Workers from the city who were present at Saturday's event and they said they were proud of the work and the amount of volunteers that helped out.

“It was a fun event, you could see this morning, you could see the people who proud of helping out and cleaning," said Yamaguci.

In exchange for their volunteering their services, schools and nonprofit organizations that bring five or more volunteers to each event will earn $500. 

The city’s offering even larger incentives for the school or nonprofit group that brings the most volunteers to each cleanup event will earn $1,000.  

Snacks and drinks were provided for the volunteers

ABC-7 spoke to some of the volunteers who say they were proud of the work they did helping keep the city clean.

“Just wanting to clean up and helping El Paso, it’s a beautiful communinty and I want to heelp clean everything up,” said one high school volunteer.

These weed-clearing events will take place over several days during the month of October, with the next one set for Saturday, October 8th. 

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Sam Harasimowicz

Sam Harasimowicz is a reporter, producer and one of the anchors of ABC-7’s weekend evening news programs


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