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He is Keeping Laguna Beach clean, which isn't as...

August 23, 2002

He is

Keeping Laguna Beach clean, which isn't as easy as it looks.

Behind the scenes

Although it may seem to have that naturally immaculate charm, the

underlying truth is that Laguna is littered with just as much trash

as the next city. It may be surf wax wrappers instead of Big Mac

remains, and empty wine bottles instead of beer cans, but a great

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deal of cleanup goes on behind the scenes every morning to make the

city what it is.

Anthony Condon, a Laguna Beach municipal services employee in

charge of the parks department, has been responsible for the

maintenance, landscape and irrigation of the city's parks and

vegetation for 15 years.

The oldest of 13 kids, Condon grew up in Corona del Mar and

graduated from Orange Coast College. After moving to Laguna, he found

himself wanting to give something back to the unique city that he was

a part of.

Now many Lagunans know him as "that guy who works for the city,"

and he calls Laguna the cleanest city in the Southland.

"I start early in the morning with my crew, usually about four

o'clock, and we cover the entire city with one or two trucks," Condon

said.

They clean up trash left over from concerts, in heavy tourist

spots and around merchant areas. They also take care off fallen trees

and broken pipes, trim trees and do anything else that needs repair

or cleaning.

Because his heart's in it

"I made a commitment to my city, and it gives back to me," he

said. "And between hard work and commitment, I get to keep the place

clean where I live, work and surf."

Surfing is another part of Condon's life that he has turned to his

advantage. Quicksilver Boardrider's Club sponsors him to surf in

places like Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia and Fiji.

"I loved traveling when my parents took me as a kid, and I still

love it today," he said. "I travel as often as I can so I can meet

new people and see different places."

Team work

The most recent addition to Laguna Beach's parks is Brown Park,

the donated structure and landscaping on the shore side of Coast

Highway that provides a lookout spot and another place for Condon to

keep up. Condon works to keep all of Laguna's parks clean and their

vegetation healthy.

"We have planted about 100 new trees since I've been on the job,"

he said. "We take out the old and sick ones and replace them with

healthy ones."

Of how he is able to maintain the entire city of Laguna Beach

every day, Condon said, "I work with a crew of guys that make it

possible, I can't do it alone. We all work hard early in the morning

so the tourists and merchants never see it dirty."

-- Story by Heather Struck;

photo by Douglas H. Kim

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