Volunteers: Forty-five volunteers showed up for the second clean up and beautification effort in Paris. Before they set out to accomplish various projects, they posed for a group photo at the pavilion ay Wood Street Park. The clean up effort took place last Saturday.
Tonya Varnell said she got the idea after seeing something about the Great American Clean Up, a program in which volunteers gather to clean up the area in which they live.
“I thought we needed to do something to beautify our community and build a sense of pride,” she said.
So, last spring she sent out a call for volunteers not really knowing how many would respond. Thirty-five people showed up and set about accomplishing several clean up projects around the community.
“I was surprised at that turnout,” Varnell said.
The second clean up effort took place Saturday. Forty-five people gathered at the Wood Street Park at 7:45 a.m. They were divided into seven teams and assigned various tasks.
The projects accomplished included picking up 15 large bags of trash at various locations around town, planting trees at the Wood Street Park, cleaning up Veterans Park, the Paris Elementary School play ground, baseball and softball fields, the area around Eagles Stadium at Paris High School, painting a mural on the wall of a building occupied by Wells Law Firm, removing graffiti from and painting a building on South Elm Street, painting the bleachers at the rodeo arena and painting a mural on its box office and landscaping at Paris Middle School and the Paris School District Administration Building.
Like last year, Varnell was pleased with the turnout.
“Our community support and the number of volunteers participating is growing and that’s good,” she said. “It allows us to do more projects.”
Sponsors of the effort include First National Bank of Paris, Arvest Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Elmer’s P and E, Ameriprise Financial, Pizza Hut, Castle Graphics, McDonald’s, Paris Elementary PTO, Mike and Susan Johnson, Paris Area Chamber of Commerce, Wells Law Firm, Cvs Family Foods and Walmart.
Those sponsors donated money which was used to purchase supplies, food, t-shirts and trees, Varnell said.
Another effort will take place next spring, she said.