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Community Comes Together For 2-Day Cleanup Effort In South Oak Park

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hundreds of volunteers spent the day Friday in south Oak Park taking part in a community-wide cleanup effort.

It was a block party like no other.

At Jack Davis Park, 300 volunteers got together for Habitat For Humanity of Great Sacramento's Rock The Block event.

"Keep your community clean, and that will help others want to keep it clean," said volunteer Tanya Vean Garrett.

For those who live in the area, they don't mind lifting a finger to uplift their own neighborhood.

"It makes the community come together to care about each other," volunteer Kirsten Johnson said.

It's a two-day beautification project with the goal to revitalize the south Oak Park neighborhood by planting trees, adding a new shade structure, filling bark and picking up trash.

"Usually, we go and we do home repairs. We've done over 50 home repairs in the last four years to impact over 2,000 people who live in this community," said Leah Miller, president and CEO of Habitat For Humanity of Greater Sacramento. "This year we switched it up a little bit and are doing a community cleanup."

One of those home-repair recipients was Garrett.

"They came in 2019 and just rocked my house," she said.

And for her, being out there Friday was personal.

"I lost my son in 2016, and there was a lot that I just let go in my grieving moments. Things happen, so," Garrett said.

She says Habitat helped turn her life around. So in turn, she was there to spruce up the beloved community space in a neighborhood that has often been under-resourced.

"Habitat's really helpful in this neighborhood," said Ward Winchell, general manager of the Southgate Recreation and Park District. "There's a lot of good residents, but at the same time, there's not a lot of funding in this neighborhood."

But these dedicated volunteers were showing there is great value when a community comes together to rock the block.

"By doing this and by keeping the neighborhood beautiful and cleaned up, it actually gives more investment into people just caring about where they live," Johnson said.

The beautification project will continue Saturday. Habitat For Humanity says they are always looking for volunteers.

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