Employees drop work to clean up portion of Niles Riverfront Park

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT Tom Payne, front, rakes leaves while his IGS Energy coworkers Jeff Mueller (red shirt) and Thad Payne (yellow shirt) bag up the leaves Thursday morning on the Riverfront Park trail in Niles.

Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT — Tom Payne, front, rakes leaves while his IGS Energy coworkers Jeff Mueller (red shirt) and Thad Payne (yellow shirt) bag up the leaves Thursday morning on the Riverfront Park trail in Niles.

On a normal Thursday morning, Tom Payne would be sitting in his office on Main Street attempting to track down sales leads for IGS Energy.

This Thursday, however, was not a normal day.

Payne and his coworkers, Thad Payne and Jeff Mueller, traded in their normal work outfits for jeans and sweatshirts and headed to Riverfront Park in Niles to do some spring cleaning.

By the time the day was done, the trio had raked and cleaned the sidewalk and green space on the east side of the St. Joseph River between the Main Street and Broadway bridges.

A large pile of black garbage bags filled with leaves and brush acted as proof of their accomplishments.

“It’s awesome to give back to the city,” Tom said. “We appreciate the park and what the City of Niles has done. So giving back to what they’ve done is really nice.”

Cleaning up a small section of Riverfront Park was part of a company-wide day of community service called IGS Impact Day of Service.

Based in Dublin, Ohio, the company has more than 700 employees, but only three work in Niles.

They decided sprucing up the park would be the best way for them to give back, especially since all of them live in Niles and use the park often.

“It is encouraging that a company that size would take the initiative to allow their employees to give to what they are passionate about,” said Tom. “That’s pretty cool if you think about it.”

Thad said several people walking the trail stopped to encourage them.

“Hopefully in a small way it encourages other companies to participate in some type of clean up in our city,” he said.

The workers all thanked the City of Niles for allowing them to complete the service project.

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