‘I love this, it’s just in my blood’: SOLVE volunteers clean up NE Portland

Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 5:57 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Thousands of people across Oregon did their part to keep waterways clear of litter on Saturday.

SOLVE Oregon hosted their annual beach and riverside cleanup along the coast and in the metro area too. It offered over 100 projects people could sign up for.

“Who else is going to do it?” volunteer Les Snow said. “Might as well be me.”

Snow is one of dozens of people who hit the streets in northeast Portland with a trash bag in hand to pick up litter. He’s lived in Oregon his whole life and said he loves to be able to help make a difference through organized cleanups with SOLVE a couple times a year.

“I’ve picked everything up from small, micro pieces of foam and tires, everything in between,” he said. “It’d be nice to fill the bag but it’s a trade off because if you fill the bag that’s great, but if you can’t find any trash? That’s better.”

Even though Irving Park isn’t near any waterways, SOLVE said keeping urban areas clean helps keep storm drains clean too, which prevents trash from ending up in the water.

“I love this, it’s just in my blood I think,” Snow said.

It was Alison Dow’s second time participating in a SOLVE cleanup. This time, it was more than just picking up litter.

“It’s kind of, in the honor of - my mother died two years ago on this day, and I knew she would love that,” Dow said. “I wanted to do something that made me not feel so sad, and made me feel good about the day.”

Though, she’s more than happy to be a helping hand to keep the city looking good, too.

“You go into an area that’s full of trash, and then you leave it looking so much better,” Snow said. “As I was telling some people, it feeds your soul.”