Summer Street Park Clean-Up and Community Day Set for Saturday, May 4

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A group of community members and organizations is revitalizing the annual tradition of a spring clean-up at Summer Street Park in Grinnell. Previously hosted by the Poweshiek County Soil & Water Conservation District as part of their Bear Creek watershed revitalization project, the Summer Street Park clean-up has not been held in five years or more. Jordan Scheibel, who lives in the neighborhood, regularly uses the park with his five year old son, and who had attended the clean-ups in the past, realized that it was going to take someone’s initiative to get the tradition going again. This winter and spring he reached out to various community members and organizations to gauge their interest in participating, sought approval from the Grinnell Parks and Recreation Department, and spoke to past organizers of the clean-up. He was met with a positive response and enthusiasm to bring the tradition back.

The 2024 Summer Street Park Clean-up & Community Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 from 9 am to 1 pm. The focus of the clean-up will be on three areas: 1) trash and debris pick-up in and around the creek that runs through the park, 2) weeding and tidying the natural playscape area, and 3) getting the Giving Garden ready for the growing season as needed. People are encouraged to come out for any length of time to help with the clean-up and participate in activities. All supplies will be provided. Old tennis shoes, rubber boots, or waders would be helpful to bring to assist in removing trash from the water. Participants are welcome to bring work or garden gloves but they will also be provided.

In addition to the clean-up, a variety of programming and giveaways has been put together to create an overall community event. Tilly Woodward from the Grinnell Museum of Art will be bringing her beloved sparkle truck and Art in the Park programming for kids and adults from 10 am to noon. Scheibel himself will be leading an edible wild plant walk through the park at 11 am and his business, Middle Way Farm, will be providing free native prairie plants and shrubs to anyone interested. The Rotary Club, which manages the Giving Garden at the park, will be providing a free grilled lunch with vegetarian option, with an additional dish provided by The Iowa Kitchen and with locally sourced meat & vegetarian option provided by Grinnell Farm to Table, which will also have other locally produced foods to give away. The entire event is free and all are welcome to join.

Summer Street Park is located at 720 Summer Street in Grinnell, at the south terminus of Summer Street just off 3rd Ave. For more information about the event, if you have a group interested in volunteering to help, or if you as an individual would like to assist with running the event, please contact Jordan at jordan@middlewayfarm.com or by calling or texting him at (641) 821 0753. In the event of heavy rain and severe weather, a cancellation notice will be provided to 1410 AM KGRN radio and notices will be posted at the park. A rain date has not been set.