Wednesday, December 7 , 2016, 7:19 am | Fair 43º


Hundreds of Volunteers Fan Out, Clean Up As Part of Serve Santa Maria Day

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Nearly 300 volunteers, including many from local churches, joined forces Saturday for the seventh Serve Santa Maria Day.

The volunteers tackled about 15 projects, ranging from landscaping at school campuses and at the city’s Elwin Mussell Senior Center, to maintenance projects at Rice Elementary School and putting together picnic tables at Pioneer Park.

About 20 volunteers filled two large roll-off containers with old furniture, bicycles, ivy, weeds, broken toys and a rusted shed from the backyard of a local home. Bedford Enterprises donated the use of the roll-off containers.

Each year, the city partners with the Serve Santa Maria program to improve the community in a variety of ways. The Serve Santa Maria leadership team and the city staff identify suitable projects for volunteers to do across our community. Serve Santa Maria covers all repair costs.

This year’s projects included spreading wood chips for weed control and water conservation at Preisker Park; cleaning and painting and adding reflective tape to traffic barricades used for community events; spreading and leveling rock dust on walking trails at Preisker Park and at the Minami Center; planting native grasses at the parking lot of the Elwin Mussell Senior Center; assembling 12 picnic tables and weed control at Pioneer Park; and landscape improvements at Delta, Pioneer Valley and Righetti high schools and at a local elementary school.

Sponsors include the Santa Barbara Foundation, Thrivent Financial and Home Depot. Coffee and doughnuts were provided by the All-America City Committee and lunch was provided by the Central Coast Rescue Mission.

— Mark van de Kamp is a management analyst II with the City of Santa Maria.

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