Archived Story

Volunteer gathers $8K for Riverfront feature

Published 11:25pm Monday, October 17, 2011

Five weeks ago, Niles resident Scott Crouch visualized the idea of a pond project for Riverfront Park.  Now, it’s taking shape.
Crouch, a Niles firefighter, Riverfest volunteer and man behind the sand volleyball courts at the park, has solicited more than $8,000 in community donations for a water-based feature at Riverfront.
According to Doris Higgins, executive director at the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan, the project fits into the annual “Make a Difference Day” service day. The community service project, however, usually consists of litter pickup or other small tasks.
“We wanted to do something big,” Higgins said.
An architect has designed the landscape feature, which will be located near the volleyball courts at Riverfront Park. Although assembly will begin in the spring, volunteers are needed to pick up supplies and clean the site on Wednesday — “Preparation Day.”
Students at Niles New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy are also being recognized on “Make a Difference Day” for their planning, design and construction of interpretive signs along the park’s trail.
“Preparation Day” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt.
Volunteer duties include:
• Clean and prep the site — Pick up trash and clean area dedicated to water feature. Twenty volunteers are needed.
• Move rocks — Requires lifting 25- to 100-pound rocks from three locations onto trucks to be moved to the former fire station. Closed-toe shoes, gloves and appropriate clothing for heavy work are suggested. Sixteen volunteers are needed.
• Pick up pond liner — Requires lifting 25 to 100 pounds and follow directions to get liner into truck and deliver to former fire station. Appropriate clothing for heavy work suggested. Six volunteers are needed.
• Pick up pond plants — Requires lifting 25 pounds to move plants from local vendor to former fire station. Appropriate clothing suggested. Four to six volunteers are needed.
• Pick up supplies at vendors — Requires volunteers to use vehicles to pick up project supplies at various local vendors. Four volunteers needed.
• Recording the event — Requires volunteers to use their own vehicles and cameras to record the work taking place at various sites and use social media to publicize photos and commentary of the day. Four to six volunteers are needed.
For more information about “Preparation Day,” visit www.volunteerswmi.org or call the Volunteer Center at 683-5464.

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