Eleven years after a group of local activists got together to address the abundance of litter in town, Clean Mill Valley, powered by a group of dedicated volunteers, have all long been dedicated to improving the appearance of our town and preserving our natural environment. In recent years, Clean Mill Valley has focused intently on its Adopt-a-Spot program, in which they focus on a particular area – a street, a local park or even a CalTrans Park and Ride lot. Residents have surely spotted longtime tireless volunteers removing litter, weeding, and donating the lovely redwood tree at the corner of Tower and East Blithedale.
Count Michael Jevicky, CalTrans’ District 4 Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator, among them.
On Saturday March 25th, nearing the end of the “Clean Community Days Spring Into Action Event,” Jevicky met with Mill Valley Adopt-a-Highway group leaders Joan Murray and Jill Young, along with their Clean Mill Valley Volunteer Group, to conduct a cleanup event at their adopted Park & Ride at the Manzanita Park and Ride.
“The Park & Ride is a major stop for the Marin Airporter, consequently generating a fair amount of trash, and even though their AAH encroachment permit only requires one cleaning a month, this group quite often cleans their adopted site twice a month,” Jevicky says. “Witnessing the increase of litter and illegal dumping, Jill and Joan saw a need, and got involved more than 12 years ago with other community members to organize a concerted response to these issues.”
In an effort to create greater public awareness of the impact litter has on our environment, and to recruit volunteers to remove it, Young and Murray and the dedicated volunteers have played an active role in their Adopt-a-Spot program.
“Over the last 4 years, Jill and Joan have worked with me to help fill vacant Adopt-a-Highway sites in her community, and participated in numerous cleanup events in addition to her own adopted sites,” Jevicky says.
“Once we were finished cleaning their adopted site, and participating in the neighboring Tamalpais Valley Improvement Club’s Community Day’s cleanup event, we went to one of their Adopt-a-Spot locations in Mill Valley and conducted a 3rd cleanup,” Jevicky says. “While working with Joan and Jill and their crew, picking up litter discarded in this beautiful neighborhood adjacent to the Tamalpais High School, I got the opportunity to learn more about her groups passion to see the community become involved in the cleanup. Neither Joan or Jill or their many dedicated volunteers, participate in these cleanup events just for special occasions, or for photo opportunities. Their primary goal is to lead by example, and hopefully make a difference in the community they love so much! Joan and Jill continue to recruit volunteers, while educating her community on the negative impact litter has on our environment.”
“It was an honor to work with Joan, Jill and their group of volunteers, as well as having them be part of our AAH Team,” Jevicky adds. “It is volunteers like the “Clean Mill Valley Group” that have been for many years, and continue to be examples of what Clean California should look like!
In addition to its Adopt-a-Spot work, Clean Mill Valley’s merchant program remains incredibly popular, with more than 200 local businesses having pledged to keep their premises litter free and even train employees about recycling. Clean Mill Valley also welcomes volunteers outside city limits or those not in the immediate vicinity, who can always look to Clean Marin.
“Our ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of litter in our environment, and that takes outreach and education,” Murray says. “We work with property owners, schools and businesses and partner with the City and their code enforcement officer, if necessary.”
Since 2012, Clean Mill Valley have removed staggering amounts of trash that is no longer on our streets and in our waterways. Thank one of their volunteers for that. Visit them here for more info, and if or you need a Clean Mill Valley decal, email firstname.lastname@example.org.