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Giving fire hydrants is just one of the many projects volunteers can pick from during the second annual “Make Ashland Sparkle” cleanup and beautification effort on Saturday April 24. (Submitted photo)

ASHLAND -- With spring in full bloom, volunteers will spread out across Ashland on Saturday April 24 to do their part to “Make Ashland Sparkle.”

The second annual community-wide clean-up and beautification effort will focus on picking up litter along major streets, painting fire hydrants and trash cans, and sprucing up mulch beds downtown and in city parks.

This year it’s expanding to include projects at two county parks. Volunteers are being sought to stain the boardwalk and picnic pavilion at the Audubon Wetlands Preserve  and the bridge, pavilion and observation tower at Byers Woods.

Event sponsors are the Rotary Club of Ashland, Ashland County Ministerial Association, City of Ashland and Norma June Foundation.

“With the success of last year’s of Make Ashland Sparkle, we’re expanding the opportunity to 150 volunteers to complete more projects this spring,” said Lee Peters, a past president of the Rotary Club and lead organizer of the event.

Last year’s inaugural “Make Ashland Sparkle” was held in September instead of April due to the COVID crisis, and drew over 100 volunteers.  Moving forward, the clean-up day will be the last Saturday in April each year.

“It’s great timing as we are coming back out of COVID,” said Dave Langdon, pastor of the Ashland Church of the Nazarene. “Spring is in the air and everyone is excited to get outside again. This is a great opportunity for us to come together and make a positive impact for our community.” 

Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Corner Park downtown. The kickoff will be at 9 a.m., and volunteers will then head to their designated assignments. Lunch will be provided back at Corner Park from 11:30 a.m. until noon. Paint and cleaning supplies will be provided. 

To register or for more information, go online to AshlandRotary.net/page/sparkle and click on sign-up link. You can pick your own task.

“We had a great event last year with over 100 volunteers from all facets of our community who graciously gave of their time to help beautify our city. We’re even more excited this year for more people to participate and tackle more corners of our city,” said Amanda Patterson, community outreach coordinator for the city. 

The rain date is May 1.

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