BEND AREA — Civic minded people, who are interested in making the Bend Area a more attractive place to live, are invited to the inaugural meeting of a new organization on Saturday.
“Bend Area Community Volunteers” will hold their first meeting at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park on Front Street in Mason at 10 a.m., according to Natalie Greene, one of the organizers.
Greene said the purpose of the group will be to bring community members together from New Haven, Hartford and Mason, who are willing to donate their time for projects that may not be possible otherwise. She said the organization is hoping to tackle projects like clearing weeds from sidewalks, painting the bridge in Hartford, maintaining parks, planting flowers, trash cleanup and more. Property cleanup for community members who might need a little help is also on the list.
A member of the Hartford Town Council, Greene said the town workers in small communities simply cannot do everything that is necessary for daily operation, plus complete beautification projects.
“I realized the time constraints that are on our town workers,” she said. “They work very hard day in and day out, just to keep our towns running. These extra projects don’t always fit into their scheduled work week.”
Greene said she reached out to Donna Dennis, Mason’s mayor, and she echoed the same concerns. As a result, the idea for the volunteer organization was conceived.
Anyone age 10 years and older is invited to attend and become part of the group, although children should have adult accompaniment. The nature of the work would probably be best suited to those physically able to lift, pull, and bend, Greene added. Students would be able to receive school community service hours.
“Hopefully, this is just a beginning in getting community members organized so that we can keep up this kind of work for years to come,” Greene said. “The belief is that when people are invested in their community, everyone benefits. We all want the place we call home to be as nice as possible, and this is a way we can help that become possible for our little towns.”
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.