About 40 volunteers turned out to help clean up Downtown Washington this past Saturday.
“We had a huge turnout,” said Bridgette Kelch, Downtown Washington Inc. executive director.
The volunteers, divided into four groups, were able to tackle about nine blocks — weeding, picking up trash, pulling and spraying weeds, planting flowers and painting.
“The planting beds at the old post office are finished and the beds have been completely revamped at the old cabin at Jefferson and Second streets,” said Danielle Grotewiel, event coordinator.
“Both of theses areas are now ready for the America in Bloom judges who arrive in July,” she noted.
Grotewiel said the volunteers ranged in age from young to older. Faith Baptist Church and Silverback Network, a downtown business, both had big groups participate.
“The master gardeners were here and so was Hillermann Nursery, which helped out tremendously,” she said.
Kelch said a long overdue project completed was painting the wrought iron fence at the Main and Elm streets parking lot.
“That’s actually something we started five years ago when we first started holding the cleanup days, but it’s a big job and it never was completed,” she said.
The volunteers received T-shirts and were treated to lunch at the riverfront, hosted by the Lions Club.
“The Lions donated the food and cooked it for us, so we really want to thank them,” Grotewiel said. “We also want to thank the city parks department, which provided the paint and weed spray, and of course, all of the volunteers.”
The turnout was one of the best ever, she said.
“Now that we do this every year, there’s been a significant decrease in weeds, and we can cover a much larger area as a result,” Grotweiel said. “It was hot, but I think everyone who helped enjoyed themselves and many of them commented they were proud to be part of keeping our historic downtown looking great.”
The sixth annual Cleanup Day is already scheduled. It will be held Saturday, June 20, 2015.