Volunteers step up to clean up graffiti in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Volunteers step up to clean up graffiti in Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The city of Tucson spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on graffiti abatement, but families in the Amphi neighborhood are taking the cleanup effort into their own hands.

Dozens of volunteers met at Amphi Neighborhood Park Saturday morning to learn the basics in covering up unwanted tagging. It didn't take long for them to set out to the streets to put their new skills into actions.

"We thought it was a perfect opportunity for them to get engaged, especially since so many of our refugees live in the Amphi neighborhood" said Niki DeRosia, with Friends of the World youth group. The organization works with resettlement agencies in Tucson.

DeRosia said the city is a multicultural one and more people should take an active role in its image.

"It's really important to bring the community out to take pride in the community because we're all here together," she said.

The group moved south on Estrella Avenue, repainting utility boxes and city dumpsters.

Just down the block, Eva Frasquillo said she was grateful for the sight of so many volunteers.

"It's hard to live in this neighborhood," she said.

Frasquillo has a variety of plants around the front of her.She said her garden is meant to provide some comfort and relief to the children living in a community, where she witnesses drugs and prostitution.

She's hopeful that Saturday's effort will be sufficient backup to the shooing that she's tried over and over again with taggers.

"A lot of kids come in and when we see them I say "Don't do that! Go home or I take you so your mom can whip you," said Frasquillo.

The long-time resident said she'd like to see more people taking an active role in their communities.

"It can be shared," she said. "We can teach our kids some morals."

City leaders, local businesses and community organizations all worked to plan Saturday's training session and cleanup effort.

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