LEHIGH - Boy Scouts from Indianola spent a chilly morning helping to clean up Dolliver Memorial State Park in Lehigh Saturday.
The cleanup was coordinated by Reed Russell, an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
"It just helps bring the community out here, helps them get familiar with Dolliver Park," he said. "We're going to clean up all the staying cabins, there's about 10 of them, and the mess hall. We're going to wash the windows and the floors."
-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
Reed Russell, an AmeriCorps volunteer, cleans off one of the bunk beds inside the cabins at Dolliver Memorial State Park. Russell coordinated the day’s cleanup efforts.
The Scouts were equipped with brooms and buckets, and a full complement of paper towels and trash bags. Their objective: clean the windows on the outside, then the bedding and the floors, and hang curtains.
"We'll sweep our way out so it's clean," Russell told the Scouts.
While a cleanup is hosted every year, the volunteer project was part Russell's DNR education, adding to his required service hours.
According to Russell, the cleanup is a worthwhile activity.
"It keeps the park clean and helps save our natural resources," he said.
Assisting in the clean up were the 12 boys and four adults of Indianola Boy Scout Troop 122. Scoutmaster Patti Campidilli, a Lehigh native, wanted to share the beauty of the state park with the troop. They camped there the night before and stayed the night after.
"We camp once a month, so we decided to come to Dolliver to camp," she said. "We discovered they were going to do this clean-up this weekend, so that's what we're going to do. We're going to help clean up."
Campidilli agreed that keeping the park clean was a good cause, "especially for Boy Scouts."
"That's one of the things we believe in, giving back to nature and helping other campers learn to camp better," she said.
After the cleanup, the Scouts planned to do some hiking in the state park, Campidilli said.
"The kids have to earn Totin' Chips, and there's hiking, things they can learn to do on all those cool trails around here," she said.
Kevin Henning, Dolliver Park manager, was on hand to assist. Henning said the DNR is appreciative of such efforts.
"This is great, any time we can get some help," he said. "This would take us a lot longer with just a couple of people, so anytime we get some volunteer help is great."
Henning said it is important to keep the park clean.
"There's always a few people who don't, but it's groups like this that keep you optimistic about the future," he said.
Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org