Hayden students will celebrate National Youth Service Day this weekend by volunteering to spruce up Hayden Town Park.
AmeriCorps youth volunteer and school-based mentor Adam Garbus, who works at Hayden Middle School, secured a $1,000 grant from Youth Service America for the spring-cleaning project. The grant was provided through State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Awards.
"(Hayden) exceeded all the qualifications for the grant," YSA Grants Manager Toyasha Vaughn said. "One of the main things was selecting a place with a strong learning component. Plus they are youth-led, pretty much, and they've been participating in service activities before. Everything in their application was in order, and it spoke of links to specific learning objectives. It sounds like an overall great project to uplift the community, and anything that uplifts the community uplifts us."
Hayden Middle School was one of 100 applicants selected from a field of more than 850, Garbus said.
"I'm totally psyched," Garbus said. "Some of the kids are getting really interested and excited about it. We've gotten a lot of response from the town and community. (Town Manager) Russ Martin, (Recreation Coordinator) Lindsay Heer and (artist) Lana McFadden have been great help."
In addition to the work and festivities, some of the students will present a mural, "Art for the Imagination," to the town Sunday at Town Park.
Four AmeriCorps volunteers from Denver, school-based mentors from Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek, several members of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Hayden High School students and a representative from the Governor's Commission on Community Service have made plans to help with the work.
National Youth Service Day is a campaign of public awareness and education highlighting the contributions youths make to their communities each year. National Youth Service Day draws together millions of young people and an array of local, regional and national partners, while supporting youth on a life-long path of service and civic engagement.
In Hayden, plans for the Hayden Town Park on Third Street include painting the park railing and the flagpole, replacing four tattered tennis nets with new ones, cleaning and filling the cracks in the tennis courts, possibly erecting a new hoop at the south end of the basketball court, painting lines on the full court and filling the volleyball court and horseshoe pits with new sand and, at the park on Jefferson Avenue, cleaning grates out for new rocks around the base of trees.
Garbus said a new hoop and backboard have been purchased but that installing it might be left up to the town.
Work will begin at 8:30 a.m. today, with lunch provided by the Full Belly Deli and other sponsors. Work will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by a 1 p.m. barbecue celebration with the 3-Wire band playing at 1:30 p.m.
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