Denver is well known for it’s abundance of beautiful park space, and the Parks East District Natural Areas crew is responsible for maintaining the natural park areas, such as Babi Yar Park, in SE Denver. While the core responsibility of this crew is to maintain the wonderful native grasses in the park’s natural areas, they also deal with other park maintenance duties such as graffiti removal. Graffiti appears in Denver’s parks and trails on a weekly basis, and not knowing when or where it will appear makes cleanup labor intensive. Previously, when identified, staff would return to the shop and gather the necessary supplies to return to the site of the graffiti for removal.

In 2018, Joe from the East District Natural Areas crew identified a simple innovation to improve upon the timely removal of graffiti in the natural areas parks. In addition to the timely removal of graffiti, his innovation cut down on unnecessary staff time spent retrieving materials for graffiti removal.

Joe worked with the rest of the East District Natural Areas crew to create stocked graffiti buckets to be carried on their trucks at all times. These buckets now ensure supplies are readily available for the immediate removal of graffiti upon identification, and made return trips to the shop unnecessary. This 6S project saves the crew 4 hours each week to the tune of $7,270 of time annually. Since the implementation of this 6S innovation, other shops have replicated the usage of graffiti buckets with their crews.

Joe’s graffiti bucket innovation received the award for Best 6S Project at the 2019 Peak Academy Awards. Joe was unable to join us at the award ceremony, but his Operations Supervisor, Kallie, and Superintendent, Adam, accepted the award on his behalf. We appreciate Joe and the Natural Areas crew’s passion and dedication for keeping Denver’s Parks beautiful for all to enjoy!  

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