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No show for park cleanup

City crews began roadside pickup of tree debris on Monday, but added more trucks Tuesday for cleanup of the massive piles of tree debris and branches left behind by the July 2 storm. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer1 / 2
A strong emphasis will be placed on clearing up tree damage at Library Park so Art in the Park can be held safely July 21-22. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer2 / 2

BEMIDJI - Cleanup at Nymore Park started Tuesday, but the turnout wasn't what the city expected.

The city set up a work day from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, hoping volunteers would help clean up Nymore and Otto Schmunk parks. No volunteers showed up.

"It's a tough time of day," Tina Hanke, recreation leader, said. "We wanted to offer times to help since there have been a lot of people asking the city when they can help with cleanup."

Hanke and two other city employees were clearing brush from Nymore Park Tuesday morning.

"We had 40 trees down (at Nymore) and part of the fence on the hockey rink was damaged," Hanke said. "But the community garden was fine."

Otto Schmunk Park had 18 trees come down, Hanke said.

After two hours of work, Hanke said she had only cleaned up a small corner of Nymore Park.

"We will have to have another day to clean up this park," Hanke said. "I'll try to set up some later hours maybe."

Hanke said she figured people were most interested in helping clean up Diamond Point Park, which lost about 70 trees and had two gazebos damaged.

"Our neighborhood parks need help, too," Hanke said. "This park needs to be cleaned up to still look nice too."

It'll likely be another one to two weeks before Diamond Point Park is safe for volunteers to help clean up, Hanke said.

"I know there's also been some interest about City Park over on the disc golf course," Hanke said. "The city needs to figure out where piles of brush can be placed so the course can still be open before we'll ask for volunteers."

Hanke said she plans on tweaking future cleanup hours for a better turnout.

The city is looking for volunteers to help clean up Library and Paul Bunyan parks from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday. Volunteer check-in will be at the Jaycees Pavilion. All tools and materials will be provided for cleanup.

Kayla Prasek

Kayla Prasek is a staff writer for Prairie Business magazine. She is a 2014 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Contemporary Media & Journalism and Political Science programs and is originally from Watertown, S.D. She previously was the city reporter at the Watertown Public Opinion.

(701) 780-1187
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