More volunteers needed for local park clean up

Dan Engesser of Marshalltown has been busy planning his spring cleaning.

And for him, that means picking up litter and raking leaves in several of Marshalltown’s city parks beginning at 9 a.m., April 26.

He will not be doing it alone – but he needs more help.

To date, he and his team have recruited students, Marshalltown businesses and civic clubs.

“We want 150 volunteers so we can have 20-25 at each park, and get as much work done as possible,” he said. “The work is easy, we pick up litter, rake leaves and so on. We are asking volunteers to commit one to two hours that day for this important project.”

Last year 75 volunteered.

Bottled water, gloves and trash bags will be provided free of charge. Volunteers are asked to bring their own rakes.

Upon arrival, volunteers are to sign up with a Cleaniac Committee member.

Engesser, a retiree, is a volunteer and president of the local Cleaniac Committee, which has taken on the task of helping keep Marshalltown clean and tidy.

Because Earth Day falls on April 22, a Tuesday, Engesser and team took the liberty of designating April 26, a Saturday, as Earth Day Community Clean Up in Marshalltown.

He and his team felt strongly about continuing the tradition of a spring clean up in parks.

In the past several years, volunteers have picked up litter and raked leaves among other tasks.

This year, Terry Gray, Parks and Recreation director, gave Engesser a list of four parks which need attention. They are Anson Park, 301 E. Anson St., Elks Park, 516 N. Third St.; Goldfinch Park, 310 W. Merle Hibbs Blvd; and Timber Creek Park 609 E. Southridge Rd.

“We selected Anson Park, for example, because it is used heavily, highly visible to the community and large,” Gray said.

Not all volunteers could work the 26th, so Engesser and team coordinated a schedule whereby some will be working other days the week of April 20.

JBS will be at Riverview, Hy-Vee at Anson, the Assistance League at the Assistance League Park, also known as Turtle Park, Wal-Mart at Goldfinch Park, Faith Church and the Hughes-Grove Neighborhood Association at Elks Park, and the Marshalltown High School Honor Society at Arnold Park.

Also pitching in are CIRSI Consumers, Juvenile Court Services, Mechdyne, Members 1st Credit Union, MHS students, Move with Me Fitness, Noon Optimist Club and St. Francis Elementary School students.

“In an effort to teach young children to respect the environment and take pride in Marshalltown, we encourage families to bring their children to model the behaviors we wish to instill,” said Engesser.

The rain date is May 3.

“We are grateful for the committee’s efforts, as they are performing a valuable service,” said Gray. “There are 22 parks in Marshalltown, and we simply do not have enough staff to rake leaves or pick up litter in all.”

For more information, contact Engesser at 641-752-1087, or visit the Cleaniac Facebook page,