Highway on-ramps and off-ramps in San Francisco will be cleaned and “greened” over the summer in an effort that will also create jobs for the city’s unemployed and young people, a Department of Public Works spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The cleaning program, part of a collaboration between the department, Caltrans, and the community organization Mission Neighborhood Centers, began by fixing up a formerly vacant lot at the intersection of Sixth and Brannan streets.

Crews cleaned up the park, which abuts Interstate Highway 280, and installed new irrigation, walking paths, trees, flowers, and other landscaping elements such as decorative boulders, according to Department of Public Works spokeswoman Christine Falvey.

Over the course of six weeks this summer, several other freeway ramps will receive the same treatment, including areas around Bayshore Boulevard, and Geneva and San Bruno avenues. Medians throughout the city will also be cleaned.

The cleanup crews will be made up of a dozen people from JOBS NOW!, the city’s jobs program for unemployed residents, and 60 young adults participating in the department’s Summer Youth Landscaping Apprenticeship Program, Falvey said.

The department is partnering with Mission Neighborhood Centers, which is recruiting and hiring people between 18 and 25 years old from neighborhoods throughout the city.
Members of the cleanup crews will receive $11 per hour while also receiving hands-on training and classroom instruction.

The department hopes to make the program permanent after the six-week trial period this summer, Falvey said.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement that the program was an example of “creative solutions and partnerships between city government and the community to not just maintain but to beautify our city.”

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!