Washington Street was busy Saturday morning with volunteers cleaning up leaves and tending the flower beds that line the sidewalks in front of the businesses.

The volunteers, organized by Phyllis Fitzgerald, are part of an ongoing project to beautify Junction City by cleaning up trash from the streets and tending plants along some of the community’s larger thoroughfares.

Fitzgerald said Saturday was “a very nice day to be out to try to work on viewfinder downtown. And you know, just try to kind of finish up some of the projects for that fall and the wintertime getting ready for spring — even though it's months to come.”

She did a public shoutout over social media, trying to get people interested and convince them to come out and help her.

Fitzgerald succeeded. About 30 people came out to assist

Scouts from Pack 260 and Troop 60 of Fort Riley, members of Quality Play for All, several Washington Street business owners including the owners of Tom’s Menswear Twitches Gallery and Gifts, and a handful of other community members all showed up with people to help out. 

The group swept down Washington Street from the corner of Sixth Street to the corner of 10th Street on both sides of the roadway.

“The goal today is to get up as many of the leaves as we can, get the flower beds ready,” she said. 

The volunteers removed fallen leaves and other garbage from the gutters and from the sidewalk flower beds and trimming down plants that needed it, then mulched the flower beds.

According to Fitzgerald, the City of Junction City donated the mulch and the garbage bags volunteers used Saturday morning.

“I’ve got a lot of help and when we’re done it’ll look nicer than when it started out,” Fitzgerald said. 

It’s all about revitalizing the community, she said, “just taking ownership of our community and how it looks. And it’s amazing that there are so many people who want to come out and help. And that's exactly what was going on today.”

Sgt. Ryan Hufcut, who works with Pack 260, helped Fitzgerald with the event.

“I like to volunteer where we can and show these kids how good it feels to get out in the community and help out, you know, kind of just on their own without any reward or anything like that,” he said. “One of the tenets of Scouting is to do service projects for the community, to help out and show that we are not in it for ourselves. They’re here to be a part of something bigger.”

 

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