Volunteers put shine on Cornelius in annual cleanup
Although ominous dark clouds stacked up in the distance, an army of volunteers assembled at the Fred Meyer parking lot in Cornelius Saturday morning to get the third annual Take Care of Cornelius Day cleanup started. An estimated 130 volunteers showed up to get their marching orders, and then fanned out across the community for a day of sprucing up.
The showers held off for the morning event, which included landscaping at Cornelius City Hall and the public library as well as at several parks around the city, painting the Dogwood Park restrooms and picking up trash all around, including along the railroad grades that bracket Cornelius.
It was a great turnout, said Cornelius City Council member Dave Schamp. The key is, every year, more and more come out. Im impressed with the diversity. We have young, old and older. Everyone is wanting to get involved and make a positive difference. Every year it grows.
Crews were all over, planting begonias, geraniums and nicotianas, including at the Welcome to Cornelius signs at the western end of Highway 8. Public Works Director Mark Crowell said the city obtained the plants from New Leaf Greenhouse, a Cornelius business.
They always do a nice job, Crowell said, adding that New Leafs owner, Ginger Steele, takes a personal interest in the annual project.
She actually picked the colors this year, Crowell said. She supplied the flower baskets too this year.
The volunteers had a variety of reasons for helping out.
Braden Hofeling, a Forest Grove High School sophomore and a member of the National Honor Society, said he was helping with landscaping work for the day as part of his NHS requirements. He added that he enjoyed being involved with a positive community project.
I wanted to serve the community of Cornelius and honor veterans, he said while planting flowers at Veterans Park. This is my first year doing this, but Ill be back next year.
Lydia McDonald, a Cornelius resident and veteran of the Air Force, said she just wanted to help beautify her community.
I just moved to Cornelius, and saw an opportunity, she said. Why not make your town more pretty?
McDonald said she has always enjoyed volunteering.
My parents instilled it in us as youth, she explained. I started picking up trash when I was 5.
In any case, she added, planting flowers did not feel like work.
Im having fun, she said. Ill definitely be back next year.