BEMIDJI -- With grabbers in one hand and trash bags in the other, members of two local Rotary clubs spent their Saturday morning cleaning up local public areas.

Rotarians from the Bemidji Rotary Club and Bemidji Sunrise Rotary Club joined together in spirit with other Rotary Clubs around the region for the Legendary Day of Service on Saturday, May 1, culminating the end of their district conference. The Day of Service was held in memory of former Rotarian of the Year David Collins from the Park Rapids Rotary Club, who died last summer.

Rotarians pick up trash with the Bemidji Rotary Club on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in North Country Park. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)
Rotarians pick up trash with the Bemidji Rotary Club on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in North Country Park. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

Around 8 a.m., the Bemidji Rotary Club set out to clean up North Country Park, 1001 30th St, and the Sunrise Bemidji Rotary picked up litter near the highway surrounding Solway.

Brad Olson, who coordinated the group at North Country Park, said they chose to clean up the park because their club is raising money for a new playground to be built there. The Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department partnered with Bemidji Rotary for the addition of a natural playscape playground at the park, the first phase is slated to be completed in 2021.

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Rotarians pick up trash with the Bemidji Rotary Club on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in North Country Park. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)
Rotarians pick up trash with the Bemidji Rotary Club on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in North Country Park. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

Around 12 volunteers swept the area from the back fence to the woods near the Sanford Health campus before making their way across the street to clean up the land near the Ridgeway Apartments.

Volunteers were all smiles as the temperatures on Saturday were in the high 70s.

On the west side of town, the Sunrise Rotary Club traversed the side and median of U.S. Highway 2, a mile to the east and to the west of Solway, wearing high visibility vests and collecting bags of litter.

Sue and Larry Young work together to bag up trash with the Bemidji Rotary Club on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in North Country Park. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)
Sue and Larry Young work together to bag up trash with the Bemidji Rotary Club on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in North Country Park. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)