WHEELING, W.VA. – The City of Wheeling’s Department of Parks & Recreation is recruiting volunteers for its third annual Make Wheeling Shine event slated for 9 am, Saturday, May 1.
Director of Parks and Recreation Rochelle Barry said the community clean-up event will focus on playgrounds and open spaces throughout the city. Those wishing to participate should sign up at bit.ly/makewheelingshine or by calling the Parks & Recreation office at 304-234-3641.
Barry explained Make Wheeling Shine is part of the broader Make It Shine program organized through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Groups throughout West Virginia can apply to receive grant funding for supplies to complete clean-up activities in their communities. The grant will provide Make Wheeling Shine with gloves and bags for the event.
“In previous years we held a creek cleanup but this year we are trying to spread volunteers out, so we decided to focus on other areas. Volunteers can select where they would like to clean on the signup sheet but if they don’t have a preference, we will assign them a spot,” she said. “I’m glad we are able to safely hold this event this year after having to cancel last year’s cleanup because of COVID-19. We are extremely grateful for all the volunteers who continue to help us better our public spaces for everyone in the community to enjoy.”
In addition to individual volunteers, there are also several local organizations who are pulling together to make the Friendly City Shine. One such organization is YWCA Wheeling. “When YWCA Wheeling was approached to participate in Make Wheeling Shine Day, we jumped at the opportunity,” said YWCA Wheeling Marketing and Development Director Jenna Richardson. “This is a great way to make a difference in our community while team-building with our staff, clients, junior board, and board of directors.”
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Realtors from Kennen & Kennen are also pitching in this year. “Participating in Make Wheeling Shine Day is a practical way we can serve our community,” realtor Missy Ashmore explains.“As realtors, we are marketing our city to potential buyers. It’s a great place to live!” Fellow realtor Jim Ashmore adds, “we all have to do our part to make Wheeling a better place. I am excited to participate in Make Wheeling Shine this year because it’s my home.”
In addition to the local business community, a few volunteer organizations have also signed up to assist, including The Junior League of Wheeling and Generation Wheeling. The Junior League of Wheeling has participated in Make Wheeling Shine Day for several years. “The Junior League of Wheeling is excited to return to the Janie S. Altmeyer Playground for Make Wheeling Shine Day,” said Junior League President Jennifer Rohrig. “It was one of the League’s signature projects when it came to fruition in 2000. We’re always happy to help the city with its upkeep when we can whether it’s through major renovations like those in 2016-2017, or sprucing it up for what we hope will be a fun, busy summer. We love hearing how much kids enjoy ‘the castle playground.’”
New to Make Wheeling Shine Day this year is Generation Wheeling, a volunteer-led board dedicated to attracting, retaining and advancing young people in the Mountain State. “Generation Wheeling’s mission is to make our city an attractive place for people to live, work and give, which is why participating in Make Wheeling Shine was a natural fit for our group,” said Robert Felton, Generation Wheeling board member.
If you’d like to participate in Make Wheeling Shine, you can sign up by visiting bit.ly/makewheelingshine or by calling the Parks & Recreation office at 304-234-3641. For more information on the program, please visit www.dep.wv.gov.