$500K litter, graffiti clean-up effort starts Monday in these Tacoma business districts

TACOMA, Wash. — More than a dozen areas across Tacoma will get a facelift over the next few months as part of a new project launched by the city.

The project, called “Tidy-Up Tacoma,” will remove litter and debris, scrub graffiti, sweep streets and landscape in a different business district about once a week Sept. 13 through Nov. 16.

The city has seen a spike in litter and graffiti during the COVID-19 pandemic as work programs shut down to prevent the spread of the virus and the city was forced to temporarily cut funding to some of its clean-up programs.

“Over the past year and a half, the impacts of COVID-19 have reached far beyond public health. Tacoma businesses and the workers they employ have been deeply impacted by this pandemic,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “As visitors return to business districts, the City wants to ensure that shoppers, diners, and patrons encounter an environment that reflects the pride and care that each Tacoma business has put into persisting through COVID-19.”

Using $500,000 the City Council has allocated in American Rescue Plan Act funding, city staff will focus their cleaning efforts in 13 business districts on the following days:

  • Dome Business District (Sept. 13)
  • McKinley Hill (Sept. 23)
  • Lincoln (Sept. 28)
  • Portland Avenue (Oct. 1)
  • Pacific Avenue (Oct. 6)
  • South Tacoma (Oct. 18)
  • Oakland Madrona (Oct. 21)
  • Fern Hill (Oct. 27)
  • 6th Avenue (Oct. 29)
  • Tacoma Narrows (Nov. 2)
  • Ruston Point Defiance (Nov. 4)
  • Proctor (Nov. 8)
  • Old Town (Nov. 12)

On Nov. 16, vegetation management, litter pickup, and graffiti removal will also take place around the city’s six gateway signs:

  • Northeast 45th Avenue and Northshore Parkway
  • East 72nd Street and East F Street
  • South Center Street east of state Route 16
  • South 19th Street and South Jackson Avenue
  • South Sprague Avenue near 21st Street
  • South 56th and South Orchard Street

Staff encourages residents to get involved in community clean-up events, which are being set up by Neighborhood Business District leaders and volunteer group Litter Free 253. If a resident would like to volunteer to support a business district cleanup, contact Andrea Haug at Tidyup253@gmail.com.

People who can’t join an organized event are encouraged to clean up independently any day this fall by picking up litter along their streets, in their neighborhoods and parks.

For more information, visit cityoftacoma.org/tidyup.

This story was originally published by The News Tribune.