FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Trash bags piled up as a crew of Monsters and men cleaned up Mariposa Plaza Saturday, and as they wrapped up, some of the volunteers realized the mayor was right by their side.
Lee Brand joined a few dozen people for the launch of the Keep Fresno Beautiful initiative, designed as possibly his last big initiative to boost the city.
The Fresno Monsters hockey club stepped up for this project, and the mayor hopes it's an idea that'll skate.
"The key is making this sustainable. People take pride in this city. And this is a big step in the right direction, and it's entirely driven by volunteers," Brand said.
With volunteer-driven projects, the city can look better without spending a ton. Brand wants people to grow their own crews to clean all over town and keep people motivated.
Fresno Building Healthy Communities is already one step ahead. They've organized beautification projects four times a year for five years.
"Really investing in our community and putting in some sweat equity," said organizer Sandra Celedon.
Kids helped paint and clean Fink White Park, making sure the place stays accessible and nice for children in the southwest Fresno neighborhood.
Celedon says she's glad to join forces with a city beautification project. She says people sometimes take parks for granted, but the city doesn't necessarily pay to keep them in tip-top shape.
So her volunteers are investing time and hoping the city will invest as well.
"We're committed to doing our part, and we're also looking forward for the city to invest. We want to make sure we see some new backstops out here, some new benches," Celedon said. "We definitely want to see some improvements to the community center. So it's a good partnership so the city does their part, and we do ours."
The next cleanup project will probably start after the holidays.
Check the Keep Fresno Beautiful social media or the FresGo app, and monitor the Building Healthy Communities site for information.
Volunteers work to 'Keep Fresno Beautiful' through new city initiative