New projects highlight service day
The fruits of the labor from Saturday just might be vegetables. Groups from around Granville gathered in Veterans Park to kick off Granville Community Service Day for 2011 with a list of projects for the day.
Along with the typical spring cleanup task like raking, picking up downed limbs and tidying up the park, sweeping sidewalks and picking up garbage the volunteers planted a new garden, spruced up the yard of an elderly couple and picked up debris from the banks of the Mettowee River.
A group of students along with supervisor Matt Hicks and Granville teacher and FFA advisor Terry Wheeler churned up a patch for a new garden spot just off of the access road in Mettowee Park. “The FFA did most of the work,” Hicks said afterwards. “They did a great job and we got a lot done all over the place.”
After picking out rocks, the group fenced off the area in anticipation of planting vegetables on the plot. 4H leader Sherissa Dunavan said the newly reconstituted chapter has been cultivating seeds inside to provide the plants for the garden with the goal of supply fresh vegetables to the Granville Ecumenical Food Pantry located at St. Mary’s Church Catholic Church on Bulkley Avenue. “We started with over 1,000 seeds in April,” she said. Dunavan and her volunteers worked in Veterans Park raking and putting new mulch along the flower beds along with the Girl Scouts. “Today was a great day with great kids and great weather,” she said.
“The turnout has been great with everyone working for the common good. It’s good to see all of the young people out working like this it helps to create a real sense of community,” Village trustee Gordie Smith said. Added Smith: “Anytime you can get outside and work in the dirt is a good day.”
A big group of high school students lent a hand in the cemetery off of North Street raking and picking up debris after the long winter. “It was much better once the sun came out,” senior Alyssa Martel said.
“There were bugs though,” quipped fellow member of the class of 2011 Olivia Martindale. Many of the high school students volunteering Saturday said they were fulfilling their senior capstone projects or logging volunteer hours as a requirement for the National Honor Society.
Down along the banks of the Mettowee River Mayor Brian LaRose worked with Henry Forest and Troy Granger collecting trash as well as cutting some brush in the area slated for the Rail Trail observation deck. “I think it was wonderful today…it really captured all of what the day was meant to do,” LaRose said.
Both Hicks and LaRose credited head of the Washington County Youth Bureau and Alternative Sentencing Mike Gray with providing the glue holding the day together. Through the Youth Bureau rakes, shovels and other needed tools are provided in sufficient numbers, perhaps most important is Gray’s role at the end of the work day – grill master. When volunteers returned to Veterans Park they found cold drinks, chips and hot dogs and sausages waiting for them as a reward for a hard day’s work.
Gray said the credit for organization actually goes to the students at Granville High School members of the FBLA and FFA but he was pleased with the results of the day. “It was a great day, the kids worked hard and got a lot done in a short amount of time; it was a pleasure working with them,” Gray said. “I really appreciate all of the support we get from Supervisor Hicks and Mayor LaRose and we’re looking forward to doing this again next year.”