Most people would agree that the environment in which we raise our children has an impact on their happiness. Many parents are more impressed with a clean local park than one filled with plastic, cans, and other types of debris. The same goes for any area open to the public. Our closest surroundings are often a reflection of ourselves and our values.

One beloved spot in Sacramento that welcomes a lot of foot as well as auto-traffic is Oak Park. Members of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association (or OPNA) believe that Martin Luther King Blvd is the most important street in Oak Park. The street houses many local businesses, as well as a fire station, the Oak Park Community Center, Father Keith B. Kenny Elementary School, and many more locations vital to the functionality of the neighborhood. As said by an OPNA boardmember, Martin Luther King Blvd is “the artery pumping life into our community,”.

That being said, trash and other unwanted objects can accumulate pretty much anywhere, particularly places that become highly populated during the day, just like MLK Blvd. Now, with the electric feeling of summer filling the air, kids out of school, and citizens preparing for a dazzling 4th of July, it is assumed that odds of litter covering these places is steadily rising.

In order to keep our city nice and clean, the Oak Park Neighborhood Association and many other community groups throughout Sacramento have hosted clean-ups for years. And although the largest goal of the clean-up is to leave the street garbage-free, there are many more benefits to the clean-ups. Joining your neighbors, making new friends, and working with others alongside you is very rewarding in itself, and proves that a close-knit community can be just like a real home.

That is why the Volunteer Committee of OPNA is preparing a clean-up for July 11th. Participants are asked to meet at Father Keith B. Kenny Elementary School. At 11 am, the group will head south to 12th avenue and north on Broadway. Everyone is asked to wear shoes with closed toes and heels. Sunscreen and hats are recommended.

There is no age-limit or required skills–people of any age can help pick up some trash and unite a community.Oak Park Clean Up

“This event–like all of our events and community get-togethers–is free, public, and volunteer-driven.  We would love to see students, seniors, and everyone in between continue to pitch in,” says OPNA Boardmember Jarrod Fischer. “This is by the community, for the community.  We aim to organize more and more events like this.  Helping the health of our parks and streets, encouraging and facilitating neighborhood get-togethers like National Night Out on Aug 4, winter toy drives and other activities we engage in are simple, accessible, and show that anything good done in a community is done from WITHIN the community.  We live here and this is where our roots grow.”

For more information on the event, you can call (916) 572-OPNA (6762) or email

To find out more about the Volunteer Committee of OPNA, you can go here.  Anyone can join the Committee to help make Sacramento a cleaner place.