Volunteers clear storm debris from city park
The baseball park was buzzing Sunday afternoon, alive with the sounds of chainsaws and cleanup volunteers working to clear debris left by the high winds of last week’s storm. Partially broken limbs, “hangers” – branches that fell from trees and were caught in the canopy, and trees that threatened to fall due to weakened root systems or other damage prompted the park board to close the park until cleanup could be completed.
“The reason we have people locked out of the park is so no kids, or people, can be hurt,” Park Employee Ed Weeks said. “That’s the only reason we’re doing it.”
Nearly three dozen volunteers of all ages were hard at work, using chainsaws to cut downed trees and large branches into manageable pieces, picking up smaller branches and raking leaves and other debris to be hauled away.
“We’ve got a big group, a good group,” Park Board Member Chad Hoffman said. “There are a lot of trees that are busted, a lot of hangers and stuff that are up in the trees yet, and a lot of branches we need to get cleaned up. Hopefully everything goes good, and we get everything cleaned up.”
Loren Henke and his sons, Treyden and Jarrett, were part of the group working to clear the grassy areas.
“We just figured, we use the park, so we should come and help,” Henke said. “The kids play ball here, the girls play softball -- it’s a nice park so we need to keep it cleaned up.”