Redding man cleaning up his neighborhood one transient camp at a time

Feb 26, 2016 7:39 PM by News Staff

Fed up with the trash and blight left by transients around his neighborhood. A Redding man is taking it upon himself to clean it all up.

Rick Aquila enjoys being outdoors. But, the abandoned transient camps he has to pass along hilltop drive everyday are putting a damper on his active lifestyle.

Trash, rotting food and clothes strewn around the brush. It’s what Aquila sees everyday as he's driving down hilltop drive. He said he's tired of seeing his home like that.

"I don't want to see this where I live," he said.

Aquila noticed the blight about a month and a half ago and thought if he didn't clean up the mess, no one will.

So he rode his bike down this trail on Monday and went to work.

"I started picking up all the trash and cleaning up," he said.

We wanted to know who owned this piece of land and if there have been additional cleanup efforts.

It turns out its city property and it's been on the Redding Police Department's radar for years.

Community work program officer Bob Brannan says this stretch of hilltop drive is a popular spot for transients.

"It’s convenient to the stores and public transportation," he said.

Redding code enforcement officers red-tagged the area at the beginning of the month and so far no one has returned – though Brannan said it's only a matter of time before transients make their way back.

"They stay in one place for a while then they come back," he said.

Brannan and his crew plan to clean up the area in the coming weeks. But, Aquila knows they are short on resources.

Instead he's encouraging the community to take on a more hands-on approach.

"I just come out and give your time and so some community service," he said.

Aquila will be coming back to do some more cleanup --

Meanwhile, Redding code enforcement officers are expected to check on the area several more times this year.


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