Courtesy of Jonathan Kemper

14th Annual Pomona Beautification Day has returned after a two-year hiatus

By Luke Frantz, May 16, 2023

Cal Poly Pomona’s Center for Community Engagement organized CPP’s largest one-day volunteer event Beautification Day in collaboration with the city of Pomona Saturday, May 6.  

This year around 50 students showed up to volunteer after the two-year break. Projects might include everything from gardening to garbage removal to painting and rearranging. After a morning of work, volunteers were able to take advantage of a celebratory lunch and a fair admission ticket. The community was especially moved by this year’s Beautification Day since it was the first event after a two-year break. To make Pomona more beautiful, many neighbors, students and local volunteers came together throughout the city to plant gardens, clean alleyways, pick up trash in the park, spread mulch and repaint fences.  

This year, those who participated met in front of Pomona City Hall for the event Kickoff ceremony at 7 a.m. and stayed for a celebration lunch for the community in the Civic Center Plaza. Other than local volunteers, those who attended the event were CPP Foundation, Bronco Express shuttle, Polly Trolly, San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps and some University of La Verne students.   

In the past, students, professors and staff have worked with over 1,000 Pomona volunteers to support several community service initiatives across the city. The city of Pomona officials were worried of the event’s delay especially after a two-year hiatus, and in previous years, the event was held in April rather than May. So, with May starting around the corner, the hosts planned and set the event with very limited time. One of the prime organizers of this Beautification Day event, Bryant Fairley, was surprised that around 98 students RSVP’d this year and around 50 showed up at the end for the event.  

Fairley explained there were many challenges with the event planning, timing and resources, but in the end, the biggest challenge was to have a successful event, commented Fairley.  

With the event being held later this year, there was better awareness for the event and better planning. Fairley was thrilled so many students came out to this project and wanted to remain engaged with the community. 

CPP civil engineer student and volunteer Anam Rahim notes that she got an email about this event and was excited to participate to gain the rewards at the end. Rahim mentioned she hasn’t done volunteer work for some time and doing it for the event excited her.    

This year all participants were split up into two volunteer projects located in Pomona Washington Park and Holt Avenue by Garfield Park. This was the first time the Bronco Express shuttle was used to serve students outside campus. Volunteers were picked up at the Student Services Building and transported to Civic Center Park in Downtown Pomona via the shuttles. Volunteers were then driven to various locations. Once the event was over, the shuttles took students back to campus. 

Secondary host and Admin Analyst of CCE Jesus Bermudez commented this was his first rodeo tackling this event as he just started with CCE three weeks ago. Bermudez expressed he was grateful the Polly Trolly and Bronco Express came out to the event and represented CPP. He commented it was a success as they spread the news of the event through emails to many departments and social media with the limited time they had.  

“It was hard to restart and reset after a two-year hiatus but hopefully by next time around it’s much easier,” said Bermudez.  

He said he will be there for next year’s event, and he will be more involved with the meeting committees of the city of Pomona.     

The event was successful in the eyes of the hosts and the city of Pomona. For future iterations of this event, the hosts wish to do volunteer work in all parts of Pomona rather than just two locations. They long for that next year the event should be held once again in April and can have more time for planning and organization. 

Feature image courtesy of Jonathan Kemper

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