Santa Clarita students are scheduled to remove graffiti from a Santa Clara River wash on Thursday.
The city of Santa Clarita’s Graffiti Task Force plans to work with ninth-graders from the Trinity Classical Academy to remove tagging from areas with repeated instances of graffiti vandalism.
In addition to their work answering thousands of graffiti reports each year, the task force conducts two to four large-scale beautification projects per year with youth groups that involve the removal of patchwork painting and the repainting of the area to enhance the aesthetics of the community.
The partnership between the task force and the academy began in 2008, when they were contacted by the school to do volunteer work, said Justin Hillemann, human services program specialist for the city of Santa Clarita.
“Volunteer efforts have a tremendous impact on what we do. Whenever there’s a need for a large-scale project, that requires a significant amount of time and manpower,” said Hillemann. “When we worked with Trinity last time, our groups were able to remove over 100 instances of graffiti vandalism and repaint a quarter of a mile of retaining wall, leaving no elements of graffiti.”
The task force has been under way since 2006 and consists of 11 staff members and 23 volunteers known as the Paseo Patrol.
They worked to erase more than 7,500 pieces of graffiti in 2013 and more than 5,700 pieces in 2012.
Trinity Classical Academy’s project is scheduled for Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will focus on the wash channel behind Rio Vista Elementary School located at 20417 Cedarcreek Street in Canyon Country.
Schools and youth groups interested in getting involved can visit the city of Santa Clarita’s website for more information about current projects and volunteer opportunities with the Graffiti Task Force.
– Melissa Lampert