SPOKANE, Wash. — You may have noticed people downtown and around Spokane volunteering to spruce up the city.
It’s ‘Spring Clean Week,’ a time dedicated for people to give back and make our city look even better.
One area most would agree could use some help is, all the graffiti downtown.
"Graffiti on signs, graffiti on walls, on bridges, on everything and some of it is extremely vulgar,” said Air National Guard volunteer Isaac Loren.
You can spot colorful displays of unwanted ‘art’ on almost every corner. Graffiti plagues most cities, and Spokane is no exception.
City municipal code says graffiti is an offense against the peace and order. It also adds that when graffiti pops up it's unfortunately up to the business to remove it, but sometimes it won't go away and there's simply too much.
Volunteers know they can’t get rid of it all but know they can do their part to make walls downtown look better.
"You really want to be proud of your city, and proud where you live. You want to brag about it, you want to invite your friends to come and visit and when this is the first thing they see, it can kind of leave a bad taste in some people's mouth,” Loren said.
You may remember Loren and these same volunteers from the Washington Air National Guard joined in on the ‘Trashtag Challenge,’ cleaning up along the Spokane River. This time they thought they could address another problem they see in the community.
"So we thought how cool if we labeled it, #Untag,” Loren said.
The City of Spokane said they budget about $15,000 a year to help clean it up, but this doesn't cover all the costs.
"Instead of relying on the city or the government to come and clean up after people, if we all took a little pride of where we live, I think we would see a big difference,” Loren explained.
While the work they're doing now might not completely erase the problem, they know it takes people picking up a paint roller or whatever it may be to really make a difference.
"We can't let ourselves fall into inaction, of well, 'We can't do anything because someone is going to come and mess it up.' That's how we end up with the problems we have now,” he said.
If you spot graffiti in your neighborhood or on your business you can call 311 or report it online on the city's website.