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Improving Connellsville on the agenda

| Friday, May 14, 2010

As part of their continuing effort to improve Connellsville's appearance and build community ties, city council and the Trail Town Outreach Corps have scheduled a series of cleanups at various locations throughout the city.

They also developed a mission statement for the project: "The Connellsville Community Cleanup will improve the appearance of key areas within the City of Connellsville by engaging local residents and community groups in small, incremental projects, ultimately creating a greater sense of pride and vest interest within the city itself."

Councilwoman Yvonne Rush said 27 people helped spruce up the downtown on April 17.

The next cleanup will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at East Park.

Volunteers should gather in the parking lot above the park at 9 a.m., but if coming later is more convenient, just go down to the park and look for the crews.

"We'll be clearing brush, clearing the pathways, picking up litter and possibly doing some painting," said Adam Flett of the Trail Town Outreach Corps.

Another cleanup will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. June 19 in Yough River Park.

Lara Nagle, of the Trail Town Outreach Corps, said volunteers can meet at the pavilion anytime during the event. This cleanup will involve picking up trash.

Geno Gallo, operator of Trailside Trading, formerly Cream of the Trail, will donate all profits from drinks sold during the cleanup to the Connellsville Parks and Recreation Board.

Local bands, including the R4 Project, will perform between 4 and 5 p.m.

Other cleanup days will be held on the third Saturday of each month through Dec. 18, with times, locations and projects to be announced.

Flett said projects could include picking up litter from streets, vacant lots, all parks, site preparation and planting flower beds and planters, establishing community gardens, planting trees, washing storefront windows, painting or creatively lighting facades and creating community art projects.

Other projects will develop as the year passes.

The cleanups will not only improve Connellsville's appearance, but the outreach corps has a sustaining goal of building community spirit and sustainable economic development.

"We are looking to incorporate as many organizations, community groups and individuals as possible. Having a shared experience between groups with like interests, in this case improving Connellsville in general, will create an open dialogue about projects, bridge gaps and promote teamwork among proactive institutions," Flett said.

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