Cleanup effort enhances Fort Dodge

12th annual FOD Walk will be held all across our city on Thursday

This week Fort Dodgers have the opportunity to help improve the appearance of their hometown.

The 12th annual FOD walk, where participants spend an hour cleaning up parts of Fort Dodge, will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday –rain or shine. FOD stands for foreign object debris.

Historically, the focus for the cleanup has been fields and ditches near 32nd Street and Second Avenue North. This year, however, a large group will be assigned to remove unsightly trash and other debris from downtown Fort Dodge

Rhonda Chambers, who chairs the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Image Committee and who also launched FOD Walk in 2006, told The Messenger that it is exciting to have a chance to make a positive impact on another prominent section of Fort Dodge.

“We are going to cover the whole downtown,” she said. “We are going to walk the alleys and streets. We are going to go around the Fort Dodge Public Library. We are going to spread out as large as we can.”

Chambers said that when a large number of people volunteer, it is amazing how much can be accomplished in the one hour allotted for the cleanup.

Volunteers for the downtown effort are asked to park in the lot adjacent to the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, located at the corner of First Avenue North and North Ninth Street.

Participating groups include Cargill, CJ Bio America, Valero, McClure Engineering, City of Fort Dodge, PICA, Hope Sweet Hope Studios, the Fort Dodge Regional Recycling Center, Kingsgate Insurance, Northwest Bank and UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge.

FOD Walk 2017 is truly a citywide effort. While groups concentrate on downtown, the New Covenant Christian Church youth group is going to handle the 32nd Street and Second Avenue North areas and Prairie Lakes Church has assembled a team to cover part of Kenyon Road.

Through supporting this FOD Walk, Fort Dodgers will be taking personal responsibility for making sure that unsightly refuse does not mar the appearance of the community. Energy mobilized to ensure that FOD Walk succeeds helps make this community and its surroundings more visually appealing to those who live here as well as visitors who pass through.

FOD Walk not only eliminates debris, but also can change attitudes about littering.

This undertaking should not be viewed as one-time spring cleanup. For many of those who volunteer it represents one aspect a multifaceted commitment to changing the face Fort Dodge presents to the world.

The Messenger thanks everyone who played a part in organizing FOD Walk and urges readers to volunteer or in some other way provide support. All Fort Dodgers should do their part to help our town put its best foot forward.

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