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Farmington's park and pond cleanup is coming

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news Farmington, 55024

Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

In Farmington, spring cleaning isn't limited to cleaning out the house.

On April 30, somewhere around 300 volunteers will spend a couple of hours outdoors, doing a little spring cleaning in Farmington's parks and around the community's ponds.

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For the ninth consecutive year, the city of Farmington is hosting its Park and Pond Cleanup Day, followed by its annual Earth and Arbor Day celebration.

Snow goes a long way to covering up the garbage that seems to accumulate over the winter, but once it melts, all of the newspapers, cans and other discarded items can be seen all over the community.

The annual Park and Pond Cleanup is designed to get a community together to do a little outdoor spring cleaning. It's a big job. Farmington has about 150 ponds, nearly two dozen parks and miles and miles of trails to clean up.

Last year, volunteers collected 1.6 tons of garbage around the city. The cleanup is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m., which city of Farmington natural resource specialist Jen Dullum said should be plenty of time. Volunteers are then invited down to Rambling River Park for the city's annual Earth and Arbor Day celebration that starts at 11:30 a.m.

"A lot of people get done early, and if they do get in early, we let them walk along the river in Rambling River Park and collect more," Dullum said. "Last year, they collected 1.6 tons of garbage in two hours. That's huge."

The Earth and Arbor Day celebration is another long-running program in the city, a kind of thank you to the volunteers, but also a general awareness program for the community. Anyone can stop by, Dullum said - there will be plenty of things going on, including a trout release into the Vermillion River, which is scheduled for noon.

Volunteers and community members are invited to enjoy some pizza and the activities at Rambling River Park. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held at Rambling River Center on Oak Street, downtown Farmington.

Groups interested in volunteering to help clean up the community have until Friday afternoon to register with Dullum. That way, she has time to buy garbage bags, set up the garbage collection routes, draw up maps for the volunteers and order the right amount of pizza.

Many of the larger groups have come for years and years, Dullum said, but she's seen a number of new, smaller groups and new individuals who have pitched in over the past couple of years. Some people volunteer because they want to help clean up a park or a pond in their neighborhood, but others just want to make a difference in their community.

"This is a good volunteer project that has minimal effort but makes a big impact on Farmington," Dullum said. "It's a good service project."

But Park and Pond Cleanup day isn't the only day of the year when residents can make a difference in the community's appearance, she added. A lot of times, the refuse found in the parks and ponds are items that have blown from too-full garbage or recycling cans in the neighborhoods. Simply making sure all trash in the cans has been bagged first and making sure the lids on the collection receptacles are closed can go a long way to keeping Farmington clean.

For more information on this weekend's cleanup or to register, contact Jen Dullum at 651-280-6845 or visit the city's website, www.ci.farmington.mn.us.

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