A diverse group of residents and business owners from across San Francisco gathered together in the East Garden of the California Academy of Sciences on Sunday, July 28 for the one thing that united them all – their storm drains.
The SFPUC held its first-ever Adopt a Drain SF volunteer appreciation event as a way to thank the diverse range of volunteers who roll up their sleeves and answer the call for a more beautiful and sustainable San Francisco, starting with their own neighborhoods. With more than 100 residents and business owners from across San Francisco gathering at the California Academy of Sciences, the event proved to be a success and a leading example of how true partnership between local government and community members can make the City a better place for everyone.
Since 2016, residents from the City have volunteered their time and energy to clearing leaves, trash, and debris from their storm drains or “catch basins” in an effort to help minimize the risk of flooding in their communities. By adopting a drain, they’ve pledged to keep their drain (or drains) clean, safe, and clear of trash and other debris.
“Whenever I see that my storm drain is clean, it makes me happy!” said Linda, a drain adopter from the Sunset District.
Thanks to the efforts of those who have pledged to help, service requests to address issues related to flooding were reported at 36 percent below expected for the past two years.
“It’s a pretty cool way to be contributing to the community,” said Natalia Estrada, a drain adopter from the Sunset District. “I like to be environmentally conscious. It’s not that complicated to do.”
Others like Estrada, who care about their front yards and the environmental safety of San Francisco, had the chance to mingle, enjoy the SFPUC’s tasty version of an “edible aquifer,” and possibly network while learning about other environmentally conscious programs, such as CleanPowersF, the Rain Guardians program and groundwater initiatives. As part of their amazing feats the past two years, event guests were also welcome to free admission at the California Academy of Sciences.
“I have been a drain adopter since early 2017 in my neighborhood of the Mission District and I take great pride in knowing that I’m making a difference,” said Karen Rhodes. “It is very fun and rewarding work!”
With more than 25,000 drains in the City, the ability to help the community is possible, even with small steps.
“I adopted a drain because serving my community is very rewarding and it makes me happy,” said Jose Rosas, one of the program’s earliest drain adopters. “We are all neighbors who are working together to make San Francisco a better and more beautiful place to live, work, and play.”