'Take Back Our Neighborhood' group picks up syringes, drug paraphernalia, garbage at Everett park

EVERETT, Wash. -- Garfield Park in Everett was buzzing with parents and kids Wednesday night -- all in good fun and all for a good cause.

This was the second “Kids Cleanup”, organized by the Facebook group “Take Back Our Neighborhood Everett.”

The parents do a sweep of the park first, looking for anything dangerous like syringes or other drug paraphernalia. Then they walk through a second time with their children, all wearing closed toe shoes and who clean up any garbage they can find.

August 20, 2015, is the day the group began their first cleanup efforts at Clark Park. From there, they’ve branched out to all of North Everett; anything north of 41st Street. Most recently, they’ve begun maintaining 30 alleys in different neighborhoods. And they’ve also assisted in cleaning up surrounding areas from 128th all the way to Smokey Point.

The group says they appreciate the community partnership with the city of Everett and Everett Police Department.

Just last week, Everett police arrested 16 individuals over a three-day period, a majority of them drug arrests, at Clark Park and also Smith Avenue -- another location that’s made headlines recently, after a business owner put up 24-hour live surveillance cameras documenting an unsanctioned homeless camp that livestreams on a YouTube page called “Everett Tweakers”.

The group of parents say they plan to continue doing kids cleanups in area parks several times a month, hoping to teach the children the importance of caring for their community.