FLINT TWP. — They came, they cleaned, they conquered. For the 9th year in a row, a group of volunteers came together for an annual clean-up and beautification of the Flint Township Park on Norko Drive.
Formerly called Join Hands Day, the effort this year was renamed Youth Action Day.
Spearheaded by The Gleaner, Greater Flint Area Arbor (a fraternal organization), the workers included the Faith Missionary Church Youth Group; the Country Clovers 4-H Club of Genesee County; Keep Genesee County Beautiful and other community volunteers.
Twenty-seven youth and 12 adults worked from 9 a.m. to noon on a variety of projects, adding up to 160 hours of labor valued at $2,600, said Peter Mikelens of the Gleaner Arbor in a summary report to the Flint Township Board.
Projects included cleaning leaves and stalks from old flower beds, adding three flats of pansies to the clock tower pedestal and 11 perennial reblooming day lilies to the gardens; adding six globe arbor vitae to the flowerbeds, adding five flowering crap apple trees to the flowerbeds and the swings area; cleaning up branches and weeds and laying 22 bags of certified safety chips to the swings area; cleaning and adding mulch in the parking lot juniper beds, removing invasive autumn olive and buckthorn bushes and picking up litter.
In individual nature walks, participants reviewed wildflowers and addressed the destruction of the park’s elm and ash trees by invasive insect pests.
The Gleaner Arbor shared with the township the $311 cost of an annual dandelion spray applied to the park lawns by True-Green.
Flint Township also provide four cubic yards of mulch value at $100. The Gleaner Arbor footed the $763 bill for food and materials. Keep Genesee County Beautiful provided work supplies and Emterra provided dumpster service valued at $300.
Mikelens said he was happy to report there were no injuries. He also said the group spends time all summer watering the grass and would welcome more volunteer help.
He also said that volunteers are needed to develop other park spaces in the township.
Supervisor Karyn Miller thanked Mikelens and his crew for their annual effort to keep the park looking nice. The audience also applauded Mikelens after his report.