City seeks volunteers for weed-cleaning event while battling staff shortages
EL PASO, Texas — The monsoon season brings rain to Borderland, but the remaining weeds are putting a strain on some city workers.
With several vacancies, the city turns to a cleanup effort that serves as volunteer hours for Borderland high school students.
This week, the city presented a plan to clean up some medians with the help of schools and nonprofits.
A weed-cleaning event set to begin this Saturday will bring together volunteers for a fundraising opportunity.
Nick Ybarra, assistant director of the environmental services department, said it would be a way to help beautify our streets while providing volunteer hours.
The city also offers an incentive for school or nonprofit organizations, with most volunteers receiving $500.
With the city’s midfield team having reduced staff by about 40%, he said in the past six weeks, they were able to clean up 30 of 300 midfielders.
“We do our best to try to take care of as many midfielders as possible, we do what we can with the squad we have,” Ybarra said.
Meanwhile, parents worry about where taxpayers’ money is going and whether it’s safe for their children.
“Should our kids be volunteering when we pay so much money in taxes for the city, not even to take care of it?” said mother Berta Ramirez.
Ybarra said he is providing security at the event, the city will close the street between Saul Kleinfield and Bob Mitchell while volunteers work on the medians along Montwood.
“We will provide them with gloves, tools, racks, hoes, shovels. That way they can help pull the weeds, we provide nearby dumpsters and containers so they can have a place to throw the weeds,” Ybarra said.
He also said the city would provide snacks and drinks.
Ybarra said he understands this is done by the city of El Paso, they are just offering a volunteer opportunity.
After this event, the city announced that it would be holding several weed cleanup events throughout the community throughout the fall on various dates.