Areas in the 1st Ward are being prepared for major cleanups and improvements on Saturday, March 24, Community Service Day.
Volunteers are working with city officials for a cleanup of tires, trash and debris in the slip-prone area between Greene Street and Grandview Avenue. Other Marietta College students and community volunteers are organizing for spring planting preparation at the Harvest of Hope Community Garden behind Food 4 Less and still others are preparing to continue Walk Marietta, an effort to make all of the city's sidewalks accessible to all residents and visitors.
Walking tours on the former Walnut Hills Drive at Greene and Hart streets and biking/hiking trail connecting with Plum Street have identified dozens of discarded tires, a television set, suitcase, clothing, broken toilets, bottles and cans and other debris in what should be a beautiful natural area for residents and visitors alike.
In addition to the trash and debris, volunteers on walking tours also have discovered six water impoundments and two open cisterns full of water. There also are wildflowers, daffodils and fascinating trees with interesting growths.
Volunteers from Marietta College and the surrounding neighborhoods will be gathering at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 24, for three hours of cleanup. Tires and other unnatural trash and debris will be removed from city right of way in the wooded area and collected at points where Marietta City employees will be able to pick it up on Monday, March 26.
Tires are being recycled through the assistance of Ted Mahone of Mahone's Tire Service on Front Street and money secured by Mayor Joe Matthews. Mahone has agreed to help get rid of illegally dumped tires at his cost of $1.50 each. We already have recycled nine tires to Mahone's. The tires were collected in the 1st Ward from the Dudley Avenue area and Hart and S. Seventh streets. Big 4 Automobile Sales owner Brian Wolfe assisted with recycling one tire and helping to collect several others dumped near his business. The tire disposal is being assisted by a donation from a Devola family.
Volunteer teams picking up trash and debris will be asked to sort recyclables at the source so any materials with reuse value will be properly reentered into the manufacturing process. Trash and debris collected at pickup points then will be removed to the Marietta City Equipment Garage into a large roll-off container for landfill disposal.
The goal is to improve the safety and beauty of the area between Greene and Grandview, Hart and Plum streets. There are hundreds of daffodils and wildflowers in the area where a number of houses existed until they were demolished in the 1960-70s because of the hillside slippage.
The old Walnut Hills Drive and biking/hiking trail offer future recreational opportunities because other trails connect at the top of Grandview, Euclid and Aurora streets on land recently purchased through the Clean Ohio program.
Developing a proper drainage plan between Greene and Grandview eventually could save Grandview from slipping down the hillside toward Greene. The series of water impoundments are only accelerating the hillside slipping. The open cisterns, of course, offers a tragedy waiting to happen because they are adjacent to the biking/hiking trail.
While dozens of volunteers are working to improve the immediate environment around Greene Street, dozens of other volunteers will be preparing the Harvest of Hope Community Garden behind Food 4 Less for the spring planting season. Still others, coordinated by Marietta College junior Shirley Quan from Inner Mongolia will be continuing the Walk Marietta sidewalk survey program.
That three-year project received a major boost when Washington-Morgan Community Action began an $18,000 replacement of damaged sidewalk at Greene and Phillips streets next to the Headstart Program in the old Norwood School. Contractors at the new Marietta Municipal Court building at Butler and Third streets in the 2nd Ward are replacing 66 feet of sidewalk demolished last fall during construction.
Volunteers walk each inch of Marietta's sidewalks evaluating them for accessibility and recording problems that make them dangerous or otherwise difficult to traverse. We also are turning in a list of sidewalks upended by city trees so the city may add them to the list of hazards it has the legal responsibility for replacing.
Volunteers are welcome to participate in any of the three projects: Greene and Grandview cleanup, Harvest of Hope Garden preparation or Walk Marietta.
To volunteer or for more information: Roger G. Kalter at (740) 373-1784 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Marietta City Councilman Roger G. Kalter represents the 1st Ward.