Nearly 300 partake in Take Care of West Linn Day
by: Lori Hall, Emily Swenson, 10, and her family have taken care of a planter in historic Willamette for the last six years.

Despite this week's rain, spring has definitely sprung in West Linn. Bursts of color and a clean freshness can been seen all across the city - thanks to nearly 300 volunteers.

Saturday was Take Care of West Linn Day and residents and business professionals showed up in force to spruce up the city.

Initial numbers show that about 275 volunteers worked at 16 different sites across the city to plant flowers, pull weeds and clean up outdoor areas, according to Parks and Recreation Director Ken Warner. The McLean House, Madaax Woods, Robinwood Park, West Linn Adult Community Center, Mary S. Young Park and the White Oak Savanna are just a few of the sites where volunteers worked as well as at scattered flowerbeds throughout town.

According to Warner, volunteers spread more than 50 yards of mulch and trail material, removed about 200 pounds of invasive species, raked more than a quarter mile of new trail, planted more than 500 new flowers and provided a total of 825 volunteer hours in one day.

At the White Oak Savanna, 28 volunteers worked on smoothing a portion of a trail, using 84 hours of volunteer work.

The First Take Care of West Linn Day was in 2009 in conjunction with Take Care of Oregon Day and the 150th Birthday of the state of Oregon. And because the event was so successful in West Linn, the city keeps the tradition alive.

Volunteers signed up to work May 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at designated locations. Then, when the work was done, the city staff threw a thank you barbecue at noon at Mary S. Young Park.

The newest business partners this year were Walmart, who worked at Mary S. Young Park, and Clackamas Federal Credit Union (CFCU). About 20 credit union employees and their families worked on a planter at Seventh Avenue in Willamette and planted flowers around the sign at Hammerle Park, along with being a financial partner in the event.

'As a community partner, employer and tenant of West Linn, Clackamas takes great pride in the upkeep of the area. Sponsorship and employee participation within the community emulates the credit union's commitment to West Linn,' stated an announcement from the CFCU.

The longest running business partner in Take Care of West Linn Day is Pacific West Bank, whose volunteers worked on another planter on Seventh Avenue in Willamette and planted flowers along the city sign at Willamette Park, as well as also serving as a financial sponsor.

But it isn't just businesses who represented at Take Care of West Linn Day. Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts turned out as well as many residents.

Todd and Ann Swenson, along with their 10-year-old daughter, Emily, have been in charge of a planter at 12th and Willamette for the last six years. After moving into the Willamette neighborhood they saw someone working in a planter and were inspired to help out.

'It will show people it's good to make this city pretty,' Emily Swenson said.

Boy Scout Troop 504 had about 20 Scouts working in front of Home Town Sports. The troop returns once a month for maintenance of the planter. Scouts Andrew Swartley, 8, and Chris Dunstan, 9, were growing weary at the end of their shift on Saturday, after having already spent the previous evening working at Willamette Primary School. But their efforts are show to bring joy to all of those travelling through West Linn.

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