Earth Day Brings Improvements To Parks

Tuesday, April 22nd 2008, 5:31 pm
By: News On 6

An earth day makeover takes place in one Green Country town.  Earth Day was observed on Tuesday with events scheduled all over our area.  News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports folks in Vinita got things going with a huge volunteer effort to clean up two city parks.

With their shovels and wheelbarrows and can-do attitude, volunteers in Vinita are putting their backs into the finishing touches on a park makeover at North and South Parks.  It all started by accident.

"There were twigs like this all over the place and I tripped," said Angelic Peetoom of Vinita.  "That could have broke a hip, so we came in a cleaned it up, edged it up, swept it."

One thing led to another and the effort turned into a community wide Earth Day project.

"Trying to get things safer and cleaner and ready for our children and seniors this summer," said Angelic Peetoom of Vinita.

About 150 volunteers, nearly half of them children, went to work, cleaning up downed limbs and damaged branches, painting playground equipment, planting rose gardens and more.

"It makes me feel good that people care," said Angelic Peetoom of Vinita. 

Even the unusable bathrooms at the parks were shingled, plumbed and got a much needed, thorough cleaning.

"With this effort here, the parks will be in good shape for quite some time," said Craig County Sheriff Jimmie Sooter.

Before the big cleanup, all of the playground equipment was either rusted or in need of a new paint job or broken down a little bit.  There is still some work to be done, but once it is all finished, people in the community hope the parks will be something everyone can be proud of.

Peetoom says the makeover is an example of what can be done when people work together.

"They're already starting to use it.  Last year and years before that, this was dead.  Dying.  Nobody came here.  And now, they're here," said Angelic Peetoom of Vinita.

There are still plans to make some more improvements at both parks, like new sand boxes.  Organizers say the cleanup was so successful; it may become an annual event.