By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4) – Nearly 200 volunteers spent the better part of Saturday morning cleaning up graffiti and litter in Denver.
“Federal Boulevard is graffiti alley,” Neddra Niblet with Denver Partners Against Graffiti said.
As part of Denver’s 7th Annual Graffiti Brush Off, volunteers joined community members and Denver Public Works to cover up graffiti along Federal Boulevard.
“The solution really is everyone realizing that I don’t have to live with illegal graffiti in my community,” Niblet told CB4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Among the many volunteers, 11-year-old Noah Gammp, who said more people should take part.
“It’s just good to do it,” Gammp said. “When people do (graffiti), it’s not good to the people who own what’s there and, well, it doesn’t look good.”
Already this year, graffiti abatement crews have responded to more about 6.500 incidents and covered up 860,000 square feet of graffiti in Denver. That’s equal to about 150 basketball courts. The city spends about $1.4 million annually to clean up the vandalism.
“Graffiti is a problem nationwide,” Niblet said. “The solution really is everyone realizing that I don’t have to live with illegal graffiti in my community.”
Denver Police Officer Tyler Blakesley said graffiti was reportedly down in 2015, thanks in part to events like the “Brush Off.”
“I think it’s something that educates the public but it also lets them feel that sense of ownership for their community,” Blakesley said.
Denver Public Works encourages residents to call 311 to report graffiti vandalism in Denver and on Pocketgov, the city’s mobile Web application. After creating a simple user profile, residents can take a picture of the graffiti with their phone, tag the location, and send the report.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.