The rain wasn’t the only reason Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Richmond looked cleaner on Monday.
On Sunday, about 60 community members, not just neighbors but also coaches and players with the Richmond SOL Cobras soccer club, gathered to pick up trash at the park at 360 Harbour Way South.
The photos included in this story were sent by reader and community advocate Felipe Valdes, who estimated that a half-ton of litter was collected.
The cleanup was part of a regular effort by the Richmond SOL soccer program that has been going on for 13 years, club founder Diego Garcia told us. Every season, coaches, players and parents pick a spot in Richmond or North Richmond to spruce up.
The regular cleanup efforts began as a reaction to poor, unsafe conditions of the soccer fields the club used. Rather than complain about it, the club decided to do something about it.
“We decided, let’s clean it up ourselves,” Garcia said.
And since then they’ve branched out to help others play on clean, safe fields.
The club practices and hosts games at MLK Park.