South Omaha man volunteers time to clean business district all by himself

A South Omaha man is committed to keeping the 24th Street corridor clean.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:33 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Every day, people walk the South 24th Street corridor, whether they’re a shopper, a visitor, or a merchant -- but it’s one man’s job to keep this street clean and its flowers beautiful.

Martín Salazar sees the world differently while volunteering his time every single day.

“It’s a job that I love,” Salazar said.

A job most people see as a chore, but Salazar sees as a passion.

“What inspires me to do the job every single day is to show people that visit this street that our city is clean,” Salazar said.

Salazar started picking up trash along 24th three years ago.

”I came here to learn,” Salazar said. “When I first started cleaning this street in 2021, there was a lot of work to be done with the trash and landscaping.”

Since then, business owners and neighbors have recognized Salazar from the moment he hit the pavement.

“Every day we see Martín on the street it’s a good day,” Ross Pecek, owner of Pecek Law said. “We know our street is going to look good.”

New colorful flowers and plants appear every week in the mosaic concrete planter boxes all because of Salazar. He makes sure 24th is clean and safe.

“For Martín, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining outside or how hot it gets he’s always here,” Robert Elkins, a nearby neighbor said.

The reason Salazar started doing the job is simple: he loves gardening.

He’s done it ever since he was a kid, and he doesn’t mind doing it all by himself.

“It looks better, the street is cleaner, and other people enjoy it,” Salazar said.

Now, he wants to spread a message to the community.

”I want to inspire others to enjoy the job they do no matter what it is,” Salazar said.