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Local Photographer Highlights City Heights Cleanups

Buzzing Bright Blue Worker Bees

Today’s post comes from ILACSD’s Marketing Intern, Brian McComb!

When Charles Hansen reached out to I Love A Clean San Diego and asked if we’d let him volunteer his photography services on Coastal Cleanup Day, there was only one answer we could think of. Ja! (that’s Norwegian for “yes”)

Charles has been a professional photographer for just about as long as we’ve been helping clean up San Diego. Leaving his City Heights neighborhood in 1958 to join the Navy and attend their photography school, Chuck has been a using his picture taking talents ever since.

As he browsed our website, trying to decide where to volunteer for Coastal Cleanup Day, he noticed a lack of photos of the City Heights area. He wasn’t sure why this was so, but thought maybe the volunteers lacked the proper access and equipment.  His mind was made up, and he wrote I Love A Clean San Diego asking for approval for a photography project highlighting inland cleanup sites in City Heights.

Click here to check out Charles Hansen’s photos from the City Heights cleanup

Searching for Change? More Like Making Change!

Going over his work in the days after Coastal Cleanup Day, Charles decided to look through the years of 47th Street Canyon group photos on Picasa. “I recognized many faces on those pages going back many years from my recent shoot. I was deeply impressed with the devotion of these folks!

Here’s a bit more of what Chuck had to say about the City Heights cleanup:

Q:  Why did you volunteer for Coastal Cleanup Day this year?

A:  I volunteered for CCD because I wanted to make a contribution to my community. I felt that my time could be best served by participating in this area. I also own a rental house in that area, it is the house that I lived in from 1948-1957.

Q:  Did you notice anything interesting at the cleanup sites?

A:  I was impressed with the appearance of the project canyons. They are very clean and cared for. There is good community spirit there. These were the same canyons that I roamed as a youth.

A Liquid-Cooled Cleaning Machine

Q:  What do you think was your biggest challenge during this project?

A:  Every event has many different challenges. On this day the heat was a major factor for me.

Q:  Which is your favorite photo from Coastal Cleanup Day?

A:  My favorite photos are of the man dousing himself with water and the young girls with the dimples and charming smiles. I also love the group photos.


  1. Way to go, Chuck! You are a wonderful guy, who spreads goodness where ever you go! Bravo for Chuck Hansen!

  2. Chuck,

    You’re a tribute to the Hoover High, Class of ’57! We’re proud of you for this project and all the other “unsung hero” work you do.

    Bruce Johnson

  3. Love city heights! Thank you for keeping us clean! I will love to help out some time.

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