The Dragon Cleanup Team
If you’ve ever seen a group of yellow-vested children, lugging small white buckets, equipped with pickers or tongs, scouring their south Vancouver neighbourhood streets for litter, you’ve seen the Dragon Cleanup Team. Since the summer of 2011, this group of children, along with some parents and adult neighbours, have removed over 600 pounds of discarded material. The City of Vancouver’s Keep Vancouver Spectacular department supplies the vests, tools, and garbage bags, and the City’s 51st Avenue nursery provides buckets.
The team goes out once a week during the summer holidays, once during each of the Xmas and spring breaks, and on school Pro-D days. Participation varies, depending on team members’ availability, but usually numbers between four and fourteen individuals. Outings last about one hour, after which the group congregates at the team leader’s home for refreshments, funding for which is provided by Vancouver Foundation via the Neighbourhood Small Grants Program.
As they venture onto neighbourhood streets, team members enjoy fresh air and sunshine, admire people’s gardens, receive appreciative comments from local residents, and form friendships and connections. Everyone is welcome to join and share in this exercise to beautify the neighbourhood and build a sense of community.