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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

MOUNT VERNON - Community members are being asked to assist the Foundation Park Conservancy and the Mount Vernon City Parks Department in making Ariel-Foundation Park look as good as it possibly can for the thousands of visitors anticipated for the Fourth of July Grand Opening.

Conservancy member Sam Barone issued this news release:

Mother Nature has certainly conspired against us the past month and the park simply is not in the condition we'd like it to be for this weekend. The city parks staff has been stretched to the limits trying to get both Memorial Park ready for Friday night fireworks and A-F Park ready for Saturay's celebration, and the persistent rain has prevented them from getting into the parks soon enough to complete the mowing and trimming.

At A-F park in particular, we'd like to spruce up the mounds in the The Lakes area by doing some serious weeding; we would like to weed-eat tall grass and around trees in The Woods, as well as along the bike trails. There might be sidewalks that will need to be swept; fallen branches to be collected, and other tasks appropriate for volunteers that Parks Supt. Scott Zimmerman will need some help with after hours.

Scott and I are suggesting a "Pride in Our Park" volunteer work night, Thursday, 6 p.m. to dark for whoever might want to pitch in with whatever tasks remain. We'll gather near the First-Knox Pavilion in The Lakes area and assign tasks. Scott will have some hand tools available, but we would invite volunteers to bring string trimmers, hard rakes, push brooms and hand tools for weeding. This would be a great project for some of our service clubs, church groups and other civic organizations who might want to show up with a small corp of volunteers. Many hands will make short work, and we're sure to make a positive impact on the park in a short time.

We only have one chance to make a good first impression, and we want to make sure that those who visit Ariel-Foundation Park for the first time this Saturday, see it in as good a condition as possible, despite the limitations the heavy rains of the past month have put upon city work crews and Foundation Park Conservancy volunteers.

One way or another we're determined to have a memorable grand opening Saturday and we will appreciate whatever help we can get from the community as we enter the home stretch. I'm sure we'll have a great time working together Thursday night, as well.

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