DENVER (CBS4) – Dozens of volunteers took to Civic Center Park on Sunday morning, trash bags in hand, to help clean up debris littered across the sidewalks and lawns.
“Days of protesting and riots in Denver have taken a toll on the people’s park. Please join the community in helping to clean up the park from the week’s events,” organizers said in a Facebook invite.
People like Adrian Garcia responded to that call.
“I have a good friend who said he was going to be out here. He actually started the cleanup project,” he said.
The Denver native told CBS4’s Mekialaya White he’s been doing charity work for a few years; it only made sense to help out his city during this time.
“I guess this is a conviction within myself,” he explained.
Garcia spent the morning helping pick up what he could find, including bullet casings and garbage. The volunteer effort was in partnership with city crews that had been out since earlier in the day. “People down here are doing an amazing job without our help, and now with us, I think we were able to get a lot of trash around the city picked up.”
As a small business owner, he also says he feels for those fellow owners dealing with the aftermath of destructive protests.
“We need to make sure that we have a strategy that secures small businesses from these looters and rioters because a lot of times, it’s not even people part of the actual movement,” Garcia said. “It’s deeper than what we’re seeing and that’s why people are angry and upset and acting this way.”
On Sunday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock thanked volunteers who cleaned up trash and graffiti around the Capitol and Civic Center Park.
“This morning we were all grateful to wake up and to hear about a couple hundred volunteers [who] have showed up unsolicited to help clean up our downtown area,” Mayor Hanock. “We want to send a very special thank you to everyone who helped clean up around Civic Center Park this morning and this afternoon. We are enormously grateful.”
The mayor invited volunteers to come back Monday at 8 a.m. He said there will be a waste management station set up in the park, under a ” big purple Denver Recycles canopy.”