Friends of Warriors Path State Park and Keep Kingsport Beautiful are hosting a Day of Service on April 20 in partnership with the Great American Cleanup event, the nation’s largest annual community improvement program.
Last year, more than 4 million volunteers working with 1,200 affiliate organizations returned nearly $230 million in measurable benefits in 20,000 communities across the country, according to the Keep America Beautiful website.
Locally, the event is in its fifth year with cleanups scheduled to again take place at Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground (at Warriors Path State Park) and at the Kingsport Greenbelt.
Jim Nisbet, a volunteer for the event, said the mission for the Day of Service is for churches, civic organizations, businesses and government agencies to perform meaningful service projects that will help those in need, beautify communities, build friendships and bolster the spirits of all.
“I think it’s an opportunity to get involved in the community and give back,” Nisbet said.
Kick-off events, featuring speeches from local politicians, will begin at 8:30 a.m. After the kickoff events, work will ensue at both locations with the Greenbelt cleanup expected to be finished by 11 a.m. while work will continue at Warriors Path until around 2 p.m.
Lunch will be served to volunteers at Warriors Path State Park. At the Kingsport Greenbelt, a free guided bird walk will take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the cleanup running from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then a family event will take place until 2 p.m., with food, games, prizes, inflatables and learning stations.
Nisbet said the cleanup event at the Greenbelt would be more agreeable for parents with younger children, though no special skills are required for either event.
“The park is mostly for adults. Just bring yourself and your gloves and be ready to work,” Nisbet said. “There’s probably going to be eight different projects going on, laying down mulch, sand and gravel, cleaning up and at some point re-staining the tree house. A lot of different activities.
“It’s a phenomenal playground and we need to keep it looking and working good.”
Over 200 volunteers are expected to lend a hand in this year’s projects in Kingsport. Similar service projects will be taking place in Bristol and Johnson City. Nisbet said Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground will be closed for playground patrons on April 20 while the cleanup is taking place. Warriors Path State Park, however, will remain open.