‘Partners in Grime’: La Jolla merchants team with Community Foundation project to clean Village

La Jolla Community Foundation Executive Director Julie Bronstein speaks to the La Jolla Village Merchants Association about a new ‘Partners in Grime’ effort to keep the streets of the Village clean and trash-free.

By Pat Sherman

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association at its Oct. 9 meeting voted unanimously to partner with the La Jolla Community Foundation (LJCF) on a new campaign to clean up the Village.

“La Jolla has an international, national and local reputation for being beautiful and a great place to visit; we do not live up to that promise by any measure, anymore,” LJVMA board president Phil Coller said, introducing the community foundation’s executive director, Julie Bronstein.

During her presentation, Bronstein said the goal of the project is to “ensure the cleanliness and attractive appearance of The Village, La Jolla Parkway and triangle which comes into Torrey Pines Road.”

“Partners in Grime” will reach that goal by hiring a contractor to:

• Empty trash cans on city streets as often as needed

• Pick up litter on sidewalks, gutters and roadsides

• Strip and repaint tops of trash cans (where necessary)

• Maintain clean trash can surfaces

• Power wash and wet vacuum sidewalks (where possible)

• Remove graffiti and stickers

• Conduct weed abatement

Community members working on the project include Tom Cummings; LJVMA Director Sheila Fortune; La Jolla Town Council board president Cindy Greatrex; Community Foundation board members Andy Nelson and Matt Peterson; LJVMA board member James Niebling; and LJCF chair and

La Jolla Light

publisher Phyllis Pfeiffer.

Bronstein said LJCF members and others in the community interested in keeping La Jolla clean and beautiful would fund the project.

LJCF will first target key areas to assure the program’s efficacy before expanding to other parts of La Jolla.

“Once this portion of the project is successful, then of course, we’d want to extend to the beach area, to Bird Rock, but this is the initial area where we see the most demand and the most interest,” Bronstein said, noting that LJCF members recently met with the office of District 1 City Council representative Sherri Lightner, who expressed enthusiasm for the plan.

LJCF will contract with one of two nonprofit community groups to do the work, Arc of San Diego or Partnerships with Industry.

“They both have track records working with major organizations and corporations in town … (and) both provide (supervised) job training to disabled adults,” Bronstein said.

Bronstein said the foundation is still weighing city and environmental restrictions as to where they may power-wash and wet-vacuum sidewalks.

“It is our goal to do power-washing on a regular basis, whether that’s once a week or once every two weeks,” she said.

Once the program is up and running, Bronstein said, LJCF will begin raising funds for its operation.

“We really applaud (their effort),” Coller said. “The funds are coming from private individuals … and not businesses — although LJCF will happily accept donations from business owners. Businesses are as impacted, if not more so, by … overflowing trash cans, gum on the streets and dirty sidewalks.”

Coller said he hopes LJCF’s “precipitous action” will bring others interested in polishing the Jewel to the table — including the City of San Diego.

“It’s part of the city’s responsibility to keep our streets clean … and they just don’t do it,” he said.