Saturday, April 21 community organizers and residents of Eaton Rapids will gather at City Hall at 10 a.m. with rakes, gloves, and elbow grease to give the Island City a spring facelift. Community members co-organized the event with the City of Eaton Rapids to offer residents an opportunity to volunteer and contribute to the spring cleanup efforts.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. various community groups will make up a core group of volunteers in the spring-cleaning. FFA students, National Honor Society students, Girl Scouts, students from the Interact Club, will be dispersed to GAR Park, Main Street, and Playground of Dreams to cleanup trash, power wash sidewalks, lay down fresh woodchips, and generally polish some frequently seen and visited parts of town.

But the student organizations are not the only groups invited for the event. Saturday’s community spring-cleaning is an open invite for any and all residents looking for an opportunity to get involved. Sprucing up the downtown may seem like a simple task, but to Eaton Rapids’ mayor, Paul Malewski, voluntary participation in amenity upkeep is essential for making the Island City a desirable place to visit and live.

“It’s really about community pride,” said Malewski.

A town belongs to its citizens. When a lack of resources or personnel exists, the members of the community have to step up and take ownership. While the City of Eaton Rapids has hard working, rigorous staff, there is always fine detail work that can be missed. There are only so many hours in the day, hired hands, and eyes to notice and take care of every corner of town.

April 21 will be an opportunity for citizens to compliment the work of city staff by offering an hour or two, or a whole afternoon to work on a few of the finer details that may often go unnoticed. Woodchips, power washing, and trash picking won’t be the only opportunities Saturday. Malewski believes if there are enough volunteers the event will be able to expand its scope to other tasks. Certain areas of town will be avoided for the event, however. For example, the river will not receive as much attention due to high water levels, fast current, and temperature.

The event is not intended to be an isolated event, however. According to Malewski it’s an opportunity to inspire future efforts and events. He hopes to accommodate any community organizations and events that are aimed at cleaning and upkeep of the town.

“Don’t wait for somebody to inspire you, you be the inspiration for others,” said Malewski. “Don’t wait. Get out there and do it. Don’t wait for an invitation.”

Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day, and Malewski noted that Saturday’s cleanup will not only be in honor of keeping home clean, but will also be in honor Earth Day. For more information about the Saturday, April 21 town cleanup event, readers can contact City Hall by calling (517) 663-8118.