POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (November 30, 2023) – In a collaborative effort to address a growing eyesore behind CVS Pharmacy on Pony Express Trail, the Pollock Pines community is gearing up for a major cleanup scheduled for the morning of December 2. Described as a “horrible mess,” the cleanup initiative is not only a response to the visible blight but also reflective of broader challenges faced by major retail chains in recent times.
The location, reportedly on CVS-owned land adjacent to a highway retaining wall, has become a dumping ground for litter, clothing, tarps, and furniture. The cleanup endeavor is spearheaded by members of the Community Economic Development Association of Pollock Pines (CEDAPP) and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), highlighting the intersection of issues related to homelessness and environmental concerns.
Notably, this cleanup initiative aligns with a backdrop of significant retail closures in the region. Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens, major pharmacy chains, have been grappling with store closures. Rite Aid recently filed for bankruptcy, signaling the likelihood of shutting down hundreds of stores. CVS, the largest pharmacy chain in the U.S., has closed 244 stores between 2018 and 2020, with plans to shutter an additional 900 stores by 2024.
Local businesses, recognizing the urgency of addressing the mess, are actively participating in the cleanup efforts. True Value Hardware and Mountain High Enterprises have stepped forward, contributing resources to ensure a more effective and labor-intensive cleanup.
The call for community involvement is crucial, with organizers seeking at least 10 volunteers between 9 a.m. and noon on December 2 for a lighter cleanup. Volunteers are advised to come prepared with appropriate attire, including long-sleeve shirts, pants, boots, heavy gloves, and face masks. The meeting point for volunteers is set at the CVS location prior to the cleanup commencement.
Sgt. Josh Sprague of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Homeless Outreach Team emphasized the historical challenges faced by the area, citing past issues linked to homeless individuals. Despite the difficulties, Sgt. Sprague expressed a willingness to collaborate with the community, stating, “If anyone has a desire to come help us, we are willing to work with the community.”
To participate in the cleanup, volunteers are encouraged to contact CEDAPP at (530) 613-1332 and leave a commitment message. It’s an opportunity for the community to come together, address immediate concerns, and foster a sense of shared responsibility.