Students Help Spruce Up Scranton Parks

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SCRANTON -- Nearly 100 college students tackled trash, overgrown weeds, and other messes at parks in part of Scranton Tuesday morning.

Baptist Bible College teamed up with organizations that care for the parks to do a massive cleanup.

The overgrown mess at Jackson Street skate park in west Scranton was no match for the crew. Baptist Bible College students say it just makes sense for them to be on a mission like this one. The school where they focus on serving God and others had nearly 100 students helping spruce up several parks in the city.

"It's awesome," said Baptist Bible College junior Alanna Young. "This is what we're trained to do in our school.  We're trained to serve the community and show love of Christ to everyone."

Students are required to do community service like this but say doing hard labor, outside on this damp, cold morning hardly seemed like work.

"It's really not, I'm just here with friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, just having fun and cleaning up," said Baptist Bible College junior Kyle Cryan.

"It gets done so much faster when there's all of us, so it's hardly been an hour and we've done all this, so, it's great," said Baptist Bible College junior Mariah Fox.

What amazes volunteers who normally care the parks is that what has taken the students an hour to clean up, would have taken them days.

"We have a lot of volunteers within the community but to have 80 kids come and help us in one day has cut our work, well, what they are doing in three hours would probably take two or three days," said Neighborhood Watch President Karin Foster.

The West Scranton Hyde Park Neighborhood Watch usually has a small group doing all the work. But that group knows how parks looking nice can help the whole neighborhood feel better. Students were learning that lesson, too.

"It definitely helps, even with the atmosphere, people's sprits, seeing that it's clean.  I think it shows that the community cares."

And the students hope their hard work shows they care, too.