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Volunteers turn out to clean up graffiti in Marysville

MARYSVILLE — Chelsea Scott has had to paint over graffiti in her own neighborhood before, but July 23 marked the first time she was able to do so alongside sailors, city of Marysville staff members and police officers.

Scott will be entering the U.S. Navy as a seaman, and she was one of nearly 20 volunteers from Navy Recruiting District Seattle to join roughly 30 city employees and their families in grabbing paint brushes and rollers for the city’s first “Graffiti Paint-Out” that morning.

“I live just down the street,” Scott said, as she applied a second coat the fences lining 67th Avenue NE, south of 67th Place NE. “I love doing community service projects like this. We did them as part of the Naval Junior ROTC in high school.”

Scott graduated from Marysville-Pilchuck High School just this year, but she wasn’t even the youngest volunteer to grab a brush that day. Fellow Marysville resident Kaitlyn Snook, whose father is a city employee, joked that she’d gained “paint freckles” from touching up the fences between 59th Drive and 101st Place NE.

“Graffiti is not really good for younger kids to see because it could influence them to do it too,” said Snook, a 10-year-old whose face was spotted with red paint flecks.

Snook and 13-year-old Christian Rounds, who took part in the paint-out with fellow members of his Scout troop, were among the more than 50 volunteers who showed up to the Cedarcrest Middle School parking lot at 9 a.m. and assigned five zones covering the entire city, with each zone containing an average of eight graffiti-prone fences.

For Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Martin, the Marysville resident who organized the labor pool of his fellow sailors from Navy Recruiting District Seattle, such volunteerism is nothing new.

“We spend a lot of our time either volunteering or fundraising for community causes,” said Martin, who helped hand out holiday baskets to clients of the Marysville Community Food Bank last year. “We sold food and drinks at the Arlington Fly-In this year to go toward our scholarships. We’re all out doing stuff like this at least one weekend a month, if not two or three.”

City of Marysville Parks Maintenance Manager Mike Robinson praised the Navy for donating $1,000 toward the paint-out, an amount the city itself matched in funding the project. Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring joined fellow officials such as City Council member Michael Stevens in painting over graffiti tags on fences along 60th Drive NE, north of 80th Street NE.

“Graffiti is an incredible problem all over, and it’s one of the most significant issues that I’m asked about by our citizens,” Nehring told the volunteers. “It’s great to see you all stepping up like this. We do have our Graffiti Task Force, headed up by Council member Jeff Vaughan, but government can’t take care of it all, even with [Code Enforcement Officer] Paul Rochon running all over town,” he laughed.

“It helps people feel better about where they live,” said Mike Hansen, as he painted over tags along the same stretch of 60th Drive NE. “Plus, it’s a great way to spend a sunny Saturday morning.”

 

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