According to a press release from the City of Pine Bluff, perfect weather greeted volunteers Saturday as they gathered to make a difference working in various parts of the city, including Townsend Park, MLK Park, City Hall and other places during a Day of Service.


At Townsend Park, volunteers had removed rotted tops on three pavilions last year. Saturday, a group installed new rafters on two of the pavilions. On the next service day, the third pavilion will be framed and red metal roofing will be installed on all three pavilions. The volunteers included members of Covenant Recovery and two local construction companies.


Beautification projects at the MLK Park were led by Rev. Jesse Turner and the Pine Bluff ICVR King Team/Pen or Pencil Group. They planted yellow and red lantana in flower beds that line the street in front of the Coretta Scott King Facility. They also painted the trash receptacles throughout the park. This group was assisted by Boy Scout Troop 569 from Indiana Street Missionary Baptist Church. Other volunteers planted red roses and red lantana in a bed in front of the Pine Bluff Animal Shelter, with plans to complete the flower bed at the entrance of MLK Park later this week.


The grounds of City Hall received a special touch from Pia Woods and the Jefferson County 4H Club. This group continued the work begun by Mayor Shirley Washington and the City Hall maintenance team. Soon visitors will enjoy yellow lantana and sweet potato vines in the corners of the planters that line the upper level of the complex. They also added sweet potato plants to the planters located in the front courtyard area off Eighth Avenue.


Evelyn Horton, director of Code Enforcement for the city, led a community clean-up effort to tackle trash buildup on the north side in the 4th ward. Code enforcement officers, volunteers from Covenant Recovery, and neighborhood children joined forces to pick up trash in this area. Their efforts filled 2 pickup trucks and a dump trailer with trash that lined the streets and neighborhoods. Pastor Barbara Douglas of St. Luke United Methodist Church was very instrumental in organizing the neighborhood cleaning teams.


“We appreciate all of the citizens who donated their time and talent to clean and beautify our city,“ the press release said. Citizens are encouraged to help identify areas of need in the community and become proactive in addressing the needs. Organize a group to tackle the problem and send the before and after success photos to share with the community.


“One of the biggest problems plaguing our city is trash,” the news release said. “We conduct regular trash pick-ups only to see litter and dump sites return days later. The appearance of debris and waste in our neighborhoods is detrimental to the quality of life of the residents who live there.


“Our citizens must realize that cleanliness sets the tone for a city. Clean communities have greater civic pride. It is imperative for every part of the city to be clean and inviting. We need ‘Concentrated Community Help’ to make this happen. Our goal is to be more ‘Clean and Green.’”