Despite the chilly, wet weather, community members gathered in Old Town on Saturday morning to help beautify the neighborhood — some picking up trash as a part of the Intergalactic Community Cleanup, others planting greenery for Project Eureka’s community work day.
Starting at around 9:00 a.m. masked volunteers met at the gazebo for the community cleanup, organized by Synapsis and the Old Town Community Alliance. Trash pickers and buckets were provided, as well as coffee and live tunes performed by Bandemoneum — to help keep spirits high. Volunteers — a few in space-themed costumes — walked around the surrounding streets, in what Eureka City Councilmember and Synapsis Director Leslie Castellano called a “choose your own adventure cleanup.”
“I think with the pandemic, things have been sort of sleepy in Old Town,” Castellano, dressed in a handmade robot costume, told the Outpost. “We all feel very fondly about this part of our community and wanted to do something to brighten things up.”
Castellano said she is also working with Eureka’s Community Services department to do a cleanup of Wabash next Saturday, May 1. Though that cleanup will, sadly, not be space themed.
Project Eureka — a somewhat new, volunteer-led community organization focused on visually improving Eureka — was doing it’s part to beautify the neighborhood too, focusing primarily on the Highway 101 portion of Old Town. After meeting at the Clarke Plaza, volunteers were broken into smaller groups to dig up soil, plant plants and do other aesthetic-improving activities along Fifth and Sixth Streets.
Some volunteers focused on planting in the somewhat neglected city-owned
concrete planters, while others spruced up the landscaping in front of
local businesses —such as Pho Tien Long and Chase Bank. As a part of
Project Eureka’s Adopt a Plot program, other volunteers were assigned one of the tree wells lining the highway. These folks get to do whatever they wish to beautify their plot — such as weeding, planting, or even installing art — and will be responsible for continuing to maintain it, co-organizer Jenna Catsos told the Outpost.
This was the second beautification project led by Project Eureka, which was also responsible for the new colorful banners you may have seen lining Fifth and Sixth Streets. While the City of Eureka’s marketing firm Eddy Alexander designed the banners to match the City’s new brand, Project Eureka raised all of the funding through community donations. And the organization funded the landscaping efforts in the same way.
“It’s entirely community donation funded,” Catsos told the Outpost. “All of the plants, all of the soil have been donated and it’s entirely volunteer time to make it happen.”
You can learn more about Project Eureka or get involved with future projects by visiting projecteurekca.org.
Scroll down for more pics of Saturday’s events.