Last week's letter from Tom and Susan Crowley about the condition of downtown Battle Ground expressed a growing need in our community during these difficult times. Faced with declining revenues and thus declining staff, our beloved city needs the support of volunteers more than ever. Last January, members of the Lewis River Rotary Club (LRRC), Battle Ground's oldest Rotary Club, decided to create a park project as a major community service project. Central Park in Battle Ground was selected because of its many, many positive attributes, one of which was because one woman here in Battle Ground "adopted" the park years ago as "Friends of Central Park."
Since then, she has been doing her best to help the city maintain the park on her own. Stefanie Adams is a great example of citizenship via volunteering, and we hope others will emulate her on this project and others. During the next five years, LRRC hopes to maintain and improve the park with the blessing of the Parks and Recreation Commission and you the community. We envision Central Park as a safe, clean place where kids can play, activities can be held, and local businesses can benefit from its presence.
Our initial plans, yet to be approved, include trimming and pruning plants to keep them healthy while exposing sidewalks that are slowly being overgrown. Wooden Creek would be cleaned up and weeds removed. Existing historic statues, plaques and benches would be restored and highlighted. Rose bushes throughout the park that have been annually planted to honor Battle Ground's Citizen's of the Year would be maintained, as would plaques identifying who the roses represent. On Saturday, Oct. 3, LRRC had its first cleanup day. In two hours, 10 volunteers edged the lawn and beds, removed weeds and grass and hauled the debris away. Two more outings are planned for this year as we move forward to get a plan approved by the P&R Commission. We welcome any volunteers that would like to help us with this effort; physically, mentally or fiscally. To do so, please contact me via The Reflector. Thanks to Battle Ground City staff and Friends of Central Park who have been so supportive!