First United volunteers spruce up Marengo park
MARENGO – Volunteers at the First United Methodist Church are spending the weekend lending help to the Marengo Park District by painting, repairing and landscaping areas at the district’s main location.
The church expected to have about 50 members doing the work Saturday and today. They are planting shrubs, flowers and trees, and painting portions of the
district’s main office and three shelters in the
main park, 825 Indian Oaks Trail.
The volunteers also will remove an outdated entertainment stage in the park. District officials plan to build a new stage when funding is available.
The donated work is a part of the “Change the World” project, which has United Methodist churches across the country doing community service this weekend.
“We wanted to do something to help our neighbors,” the Rev. Keck Mowry said. “The park district [affects] the whole community. They’ve also had some challenges recently. This seemed like something that could help the community.”
The district has spent roughly a year turning around its finances by stopping services, including full-time day care, to close a budget hole.
Volunteers this weekend also will cut and remove decaying or fallen trees along the district’s hiking trail. Excess wood will be turned over to the district, which plans to sell it.
The church raised more than $525 to cover the landscaping work.
Volunteers have been coating and replacing building boards and churning the landscape during the last month to prepare for this weekend.
The “Change the World” project is a welcome sight for the district, which has one full-time maintenance person caring for the main park,
the pool and three other parks.
“To try and put a number on the benefits the park district is getting from this would probably be more than $1,000,” said Heather Shepard, the district’s business director. “‘Priceless’ is probably the right word.”
Church organizers said they hope to complete the work by the end of the weekend. Residents not affiliated with the church also may volunteer.