The Street Sweepers

The Street Sweepers™

Tired of something you see in your neighborhood or community? Expect the City to take care of it? Consider doing something about it yourself!

Go sweep the gravel off the shoulder where it's a road hazard for everyone. Pick up litter on the beach, on the street. Bring people together, seek permission, if necessary, to correct a situation.

Here are some examples. Each example may eventually have a full page.

  • Drain Keepers — Keep a Storm Drain open and flowing — be a [Drain Keeper]
  • Path Keepers — Lobelia Path and other Southwest Trails. Coming Soon.
  • Ocean Keepers — David Suzuki says: become an [Ocean Keeper]
  • Street Sweepers — This is more than Sweeping your Street. Coming Soon.
  • Adopt-a-Highway — litter pickup. Coming Soon.
  • Green Street Steward — Maintain green street features. On [Share Oregon], on City Website].
  • Trail Keepers — Trailkeepers of Oregon enhances our Oregon hiking experience. [TKO]
  • Sign Keepers — Preserving Pedestrian Right-of-Way and Access. Coming Soon.
  • Bus Stoppers — People piling dog shit bags on the ashcan at a bus stop. Coming Soon.
  • Ivy Pullers — Foot Patrollers — The Friends of River View Natural Area [FoRVNA]
  • Graffiti Removers — folks that go around and neutralize graffiti as it appears.. is there a better term than 'graffiti abatement' for this activity? [remove graffiti]
  • Litter Grabber — Somebody's gotta to do it. Woodstock resident 'grabs' litter. We love [Barron]
  • Place Makers — people who humanize public spaces on a neighborhood scale through structures, gardening, ... [LINK]

Litter Patrollers

The Usual Suspects meet at 9am, 1st Saturday of each month, in Hillsdale at BASICS market to pick up litter for an hour, rain or shine. Volunteers pick up trash on differing routes in teams. Bags and grabbers are provided.

Shopping Cart Shaggers

These carts are a huge source of visual pollution. It's also costly for businesses to lose track of them. Fred Meyer insurance prevents employees from leaving the store property to fetch them!! Enter Arnie, the Hillsdale Cart Return Tsar who shags grocery carts back to the Store or suitable pickup site and reports them to the Cart Hotline...

Here's the phone number for calling in abandoned carts in Portland Metro: 1-888-552-2787 (1-888-55-CARTS). Leave a detailed message with the exact location of the abandoned cart(s), and the store it belongs to (eg Safeway, Fred Meyer,...). Alternatively, make a report via []

Carry the Hotline number with you! Make an entry in your mobile phone Address Book, so that you can report carts from the field, rather than later. Pro Tip: Don't try to take carts away from people or otherwise engage them.

Mill Ends Park

Mill Ends Park is located in Portland at the intersection of Southwest Naito Parkway and Taylor Street, near the Willamette River. In 1946, Oregon Journal columnist Dick Fagan is credited with creating the park — built in an abandoned hole intended for a traffic light pole in a concrete median — and his columns about the park captured Portlanders' imaginations for years. After Fagan's death, the City of Portland named it an official park in 1976.

For the back story and more photos, see this 'Mill Ends Park' article on Oregon Encyclopedia. Also see the excellent 'Mill Ends Park' article on Wikipedia which has 17 references.


Viral #trashtag challenge inspires bored teens — and tens of thousands of others — to clean the planet. [CBS News article]

Related Stories

  • Rick Seifert is working to put forward a city ordinance that says anyone can take down illegal bandit signs.
  • The Broken Window and Graffiti effect on SouthwestCommunity ConnectioN.
  • I-5 On-Ramp Park — A piece of Scattered Eden. Plant some [SUNFLOWERS]

About the name 'The Street Sweepers'

Vance Packard wrote a series of influential books: The Waste Makers, The Hidden Persuaders, The Status Seekers, The Pyramid Climbers, The People Shapers, but he did not write the Streep Sweepers.

In Anthem, by Ayn Rand, Equality 7-2521 is assigned his Life Mandate: Streep Sweeper.

MLK: If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. — Martin Luther King Jr., April 9, 1967.

As a teen, in the 1960's, I swept the parking lot at our family's grocery, EAST VALLEY THRIFT STORE. Using a push broom, I swept the row of 16-20 spots that got used the most, along the front of the store. The smokers would pull up to the store, and throw their butt down before getting out of the car. Sometimes, they would pull in and EMPTY their ashtray right out their car door. So, I swept it all up, every night, and put the litter into the trash, which eventually went to the incinerator out back. Eventually, my father bought a sweeping machine, like a mower, that swept it all up into a bin that I emptied. (Funny, I don't remember where the machine was kept when not in use.)


The Street Sweepers is NOT associated with the Promise Keepers or Oath Keepers!

The Trademark™ on Street Sweepers is a joke. :^)