POTTSVILLE – Teens from New Jersey are volunteering their time, helping to pick up Overlook Park in Pottsville – clearing out brush, digging out roots and tearing out weeds.
“We are basically just getting rid of everything that needs to be gone, all of the leaves, all of the branches, weeds and everything and we`ll go from there,” said Austin Crowe from New Jersey.
Members of this youth group call themselves the JUNE Project – Jesus Unites Neighbors Everywhere – and as part of a 21-year tradition, they travel to Pottsville each summer, revitalizing part of the city.
This year they have their sights set high in Overlook Park.
“Some of it, it can be strenuous at times and it`s hot, the suns beating down on you, but it`s still, you are with your friends and you are doing it for a good reason,” Emily Daigle from New Jersey said.
All of the materials being used in this park clean-up are being paid for through a state grant, but without the help of all of these volunteers, the project would never be getting done.
Jeffrey Fesser is the Director of housing and community development in Pottsville.
“It`s been an ongoing project with the cuts in funding that we received and the loss of staff, we`re basically relying on volunteer efforts to help out,” said Fesser.
The park project was about 75 percent complete but then sat dormant for about the last nine months. Now after only a few hours of work, the project is already taking shape.
“It makes me feel better because knowing that we are all making an impact on people`s lives and helping out a run down town pick themselves back up,” Corbin Chance of New Jersey said.
“It makes me feel good that I`m able to help people that can`t help themselves right now,” Ricky Ankrum of New Jersey said.
With some quick work and lots of heart, this park will be ready for the community to enjoy at the end of the week.