EATON — Earth Day Initiative was held for the second consecutive year on Saturday, April 21.
While the crowd was smaller than last year, those in attendance banded together to clean Fort St. Clair Park, Waterworks Park, and Clarence Hook Park in Eaton.
Hosted by Preble County Community Outreach, the intention behind Earth Day Initiative is to remove any objects from local parks that should not be there. In the past, that has included drug paraphernalia and other sharp or dangerous objects.
The same passion is behind Sharps Outta Parks, which is also hosted by Preble County Community Outreach. This event is on its third year. Each week, the group chooses a park to clean-up and searches for dangerous items. If anything dangerous is found, the police are contacted immediately for removal. The group are looking for items that could be hiding, in order to remove them before someone else finds them. If interested, the group is active on Facebook under Preble County Community Outreach.
According to representatives, the goal of Preble County Community Outreach is to connect the community to resources. From their outreach events, to helping community members with needs, the group hopes to bring the community together to meet the needs.
Sharps Outta Parks is very similar to Earth Day Initiative, but the goal with the event held on Saturday, April 21, was to gather a large crowd to kick off the cleanup season. They want to remove the fear surrounding the community parks, to make them a safe place for local children to play.
City of Eaton Mayor Gary Wagner opened the event by addressing all gathered. He said, “Earth Day began in 1970. One major result that impacted me, was it resulted in the Clean Water Act. That Act resulted in the City of Eaton establishing a brand new Waste Water Treatment Plant, back in the early 1980s. That is one impact and it made a career for me.
“In 1990, Earth Day went global. It went even more global in the 2000s, with 84 countries participating. It is noble work and we thank you for coming out. Be careful out there and do not pick anything up that you should not be picking up.”
Following cleanup, there was a lunch offered to all volunteers.
The following companies donated to the effort: WalMart, Kroger, Bob Evans, City of Eaton, Eaton Police Department, Brubaker Grain and Chemical Inc., Ace Hardware, Needler’s, and Preble County Council on Aging Inc.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH