Despite the challenges last year brought, we are hopeful and excited for 2021! Looking back at 2020, Keep Oakland Beautiful had to adjust like everyone else but we are so inspired by the way we saw our community come together to keep Oakland clean and beautiful but also to support each other in staying safe and healthy.
We have lots of exciting things to look forward to this year. Just to name a few...
Congratulations to the 2020 Small Grant awardees. Thank you so much for your commitment to keeping Oakland beautiful!
This September marks the 25th year of Creek to Bay in Oakland. This year due to Covid-19 we are transforming a day set aside for watershed clean ups to a whole month of cleaning, greening and beautifying our neighborhoods, parks and creeks. So go outside by yourself or with your social bubble and do something to help improve the health of our local creeks and watersheds. Every little bit helps!
Check out this website: www.oaklandcreektobay.org to learn more about how you can participate in Creek to Bay month!
Members of the KOB board recently visited the murals painted in downtown Oakland that share messages of peace, commemorate lost Black lives, and showcase artistry of Oakland residents.
Photo credits: Andrea Silvestri
We are filled with sadness over recent events and the senseless murders of Black Americans—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey. The long history of racial injustice in our country is irrefutable and intolerable. For far too long, events across our nation have laid bare the systemic acts of hatred and violence perpetrated against Black people in our communities.
At Keep Oakland Beautiful, we are committed to creating and sustaining a beautiful, clean Oakland for everyone. We also acknowledge that the right to a clean, healthy environment is not shared equally among all and that Black people do not have the same access to clean and green spaces. As an organization, we are committed to working with all districts and we will continue to emphasize the importance of access and inclusivity.
We embrace Oakland’s black community and support the peaceful demonstrations throughout the city that are demanding justice. After the demonstrations, volunteer board members are working to keep Oakland clean and beautiful. Because of COVID-19 public health concerns, we are not able to host any volunteer events, but we encourage everyone to arrange their own cleanups. You can also find more Bay Area clean up events at bayareacleanup.
Black Lives Matter.
In solidarity and in pride for our diverse city,
Keep Oakland Beautiful Board
We are all already making a big impact by staying at home, both for our neighbors and for our earth. If you are looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day this year, here are a few ideas to get outside and make a difference.
Happy Earth Day, Oakland! We hope our neighbors are healthy and happy.
Every year, Keep Oakland Beautiful works with the community to do a clean up in honor of Earth Day. This year, we will be co-hosting an Earth Day cleanup event with one of our new board members, Grant Chen!
Where: Durant Mini Park, 675 29th Street, between MLK and West St, Oakland, CA, 94609
When: 9:00 AM–12:00 PM
What We'll Be Doing
Check out What We Did Last Year!
Earth Day 2019 at Courtland Creek & Jingletown
Highlights of Our Work from 2019
Thanks to our community, we have helped fund impactful programs throughout Oakland. Here is a sampling of some of the work done in 2019.
Jingletown Drain Painting
Using a grant from KOB, volunteers painted murals around two drains to bring awareness to the drains while beautifying the neighborhood. The first mural, Estuary Fish, was painted by 50 eighth-graders from Lazear Charter Academy. The second mural, Community Quilt, was designed in collaboration with a local senior quilt maker and painted by neighborhood volunteers during an MLK service day.
Myrtle St. Bulb Out Mural and Beautification
As part of the opening of a new Community Foods Market in West Oakland, the city installed a bulb-out at the NW corner of San Pablo Ave and Myrtle St. to slow vehicles at the intersection. Using a KOB grant, volunteers painted a mural to draw attention to the intersection and increase its impact.
Hoover Durant St Corner Library Pop-Up
A KOB small grant supported the construction of mobile book storage wagons as part of the Hoover Durant Street Corner Library Events. The events are a temporary, yet on-going part of a much larger ongoing campaign to bring back a public neighborhood branch library that was demolished for the construction of a freeway in the early 1970s.
Champion Transit Plaza Landscape Renovation
Champion Transit Plaza was built in 2013 by the City of Oakland. Volunteers with the Dimond Improvement Association (DIA) have been maintaining the plaza for five years but the plantings were in need of renovation. DIA used a grant from KOB to replant with more drought-tolerant plants.
Longfellow Garden Boxes
The Longfellow Neighborhood Association used a KOB grant to beautify the sidewalk in front of an auto body shop on one of the busiest corridors in the neighborhood. Volunteers built raised planters between the chain-link fence and sidewalk and planted drought-tolerant plants. In the future, the neighborhood association would like to build mini-gardens at 5 additional autobody sites along MLK and West MacArthur.
Hoover Elementary Garden
In partnership with the Permaculture Action Network, Burners Without Borders, and Common Vision, the neighborhood hosted a day of hands-on projects and workshops. Nearly 400 volunteers cleared garden spaces and created community agreements about interest, participation and crop choices.
Longfellow Mosaic Trash Cans
The Longfellow neighborhood is in the process of installing five new mosaic garbage cans on 40th Street at the corners of Market Street, West Street, and MLK Jr Way—the busiest corridors in the neighborhood, primarily at bus stops.
Universal Garden of Love
The Universal Garden of Love will support residents of Lion Creek Crossings (LCC) to share foods they have grown at LCC by hosting monthly clean ups and pot lucks at the public park. The project will provide four residents at LCC with planter beds to place in a small area near the park or on resident patios.
The President's Circle is the highest award given by the Keep America Beautiful. You can learn more about the work that helped us earn this membership here:
We are honored to be a member of KAB and look forward to continuing our work in serving Oakland's communities.
The Keep Oakland Board welcomed six new board members for 2020.
Learn more about the KOB board here.
Martin Luther King Jr proclaimed that “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.”
This was true of the 45 great volunteers who showed up and worked all day in the Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland. Volunteers from Kaiser, Clorox, Keep Oakland Beautiful and neighbors worked at two sites, the shoreline and the art wall.
On the shoreline, volunteers picked up trash including broken glass bottles, cigarette butts and various plastic odds and ends, not only making the shoreline more aesthetically pleasing but also keeping the trash from our storm drains and waterways. Volunteers also planted a tree that will serve to beautify the street close to the shore.
At the art wall, volunteers worked hard to weed, prune and clean up the garden space. They also were able to repaint storm drain art under the direction of a local artist.
A lot of work was done and the area will be beautified for years to come!