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Volunteers clean up Jennings Nature Park in Marysville during National Day of Service and Remembrance

MARYSVILLE — Wearing pink and yellow work gloves, Madelyn Teerlink, 8, prodded the grass at Jennings Nature Park in search of weeds.

The Marysville girl found one, lifting it out and tossed it aside.

"They're having a good time," said her aunt, Lake Stevens resident Kami Valderrama about Madelyn, who was working with a group of girls to remove weeds near the park's playground. "We heard about this through the church and decided to come and help out."

Madelyn was one of about 250 volunteers to help spruce up the Marysville park during National Day of Service and Remembrance on Saturday, Sept. 11.

"We had a lot more people turn out than we thought," said Mike Robinson, park maintenance manager for the city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Department. "It was a little hard to organize at first. But that's a good problem to have."

Organized by the Latter Day Saints Church, Marysville Rotary and the parks and recreation department, volunteers spent four hours painting, landscaping, edging and cleaning the park.

That included digging out pads under picnic tables and benches so that those areas could be filled with gravel. Ten cubic yards of gravel were brought in for fill.

"I guess it gets pretty muddy under these benches," said Craig Quimby, a member of the Marysville Free Methodist Church, who was digging out sod from beneath a bench and dumping it into a wheelbarrow. "They're going to put gravel down here to help."

Robinson said that many of the individual volunteers were either from the Latter Day Saints or from the Free Methodist churches.

Ken Gubler, who works for the Latter Day Saints Church and co-organized the event, said the idea behind the event was to get a large group of people together to give back to a local park.

"The city's been great," said Gubler's wife, Carol. "They've provided tools and it's really looking good out there."

Volunteers also picked up tree branches, cut back weeds and brush and mulched around the native species of plants.

"It gives them room to grow and thrive," Robinson said.

On the playground, workers cleaned equipment and play toys and trimmed a large hedge located on the southwest corner of the area. Organizers also brought in 10 cubic yards of wood chips to help fill out areas on the ground that were low.

Nearby, members of Marysville Rotary painted the park restroom and information kiosk.

Don Whitfield of the service organization said that more than a dozen Rotary members turned out for the event.

At about noon, as work was concluding, Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring addressed the group of volunteers, commending them for giving their time.

Hundreds of volunteer service projects took place across the United States as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance, which was organized by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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