More than 50 people, of all ages, volunteered to help paint over graffiti in Bouquet Creek, just south of Saugus High School on Saturday.
Volunteers wielded long paint rollers, dipped in gray paint, to cover up much of the graffiti on the top and bottom of the approximately 40-foot concrete embankment that faces Bouquet Canyon Road.
Michael Villegas, community preservation manager with the city of Santa Clarita and organizer of the project, said this location was chosen due to its amount of graffiti and its visibility from the road.
Villegas said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and how quickly the group was working, having painted about 300 yards of the bank in just an hour.
“It feels great, you know, when we started talking about this late last year and trying to figure out what this could potentially look like, It was a little nerve-racking,” said Villegas. “But this turnout is wonderful… individuals from all ages, across the board, taking some time on a beautiful Saturday morning to come out and help us out. It’s greatly appreciated.”
The project was part of the city of Santa Clarita’s five-year plan, known as SC2025. The plan covers multiple projects and goals such as community engagement, city master planning, economic development, and beatification, among many others.
Villegas said the idea of establishing a graffiti removal day was started by city workers about a year ago, with a proclamation being submitted and approved by the Santa Clarita City Council on May 24.
While the city has an already existing graffiti removal task force, which Villegas said has removed 99% of graffiti within 24 hours since 2015, an entire day dedicated to graffiti removal, which invites community members to participate in a large-scale project, such as this one, has never been done before.
Volunteers showed great pride that they were able to have the opportunity to give back to the community. Terry Collier, a volunteer and Santa Clarita resident, said this was exactly the reason she decided to spend her Saturday at Bouquet Creek.
“This one seemed like a really great opportunity for me and my two sons to come out, you know, on a Saturday, [for] just a couple of hours and help with the graffiti,” said Collier. “It seemed like something that, not only is the right thing to do, but something that was easy to give back in terms of giving back to the community, and we’re having a good time meeting a lot of great people.”
Logan Petit, a 16-year-old Valencia High School student volunteering with his dad, said that participating in this event made him want to volunteer for more community-based projects in the future.
“It’s more of, like, I just wanted to help out the community. I’ve… actually just discovered about the website or like helping out and doing all this,” said Petit. “I’ll start with this and then go down the line and do other things.”
For more information about graffiti removal in the Santa Clarita Valley, visit bit.ly/3xkurrq. For more information about SC2025, visit: bit.ly/3PULlV7.