Greener, cleaner: Helpers needed Sept. 17

September, 2016 Posted in Community

By Mary Owen

Get ready for a “Greener, Cleaner Canyon.”

But before that can happen, volunteers are needed to roll up their sleeves, grab their gloves and help make it happen. And if you have ever said “wouldn’t our town look nicer, if…,” then this project is for you.

And all you need to do is sign-up to help.

A multi-location North Santiam Canyon cleanup and beautification project will take place at three locations from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The cleanup event is the culmination of a cohort-designed community project under the umbrella of the Ford Institute for Community Building, in partnership with Rural Development Initiatives.

Thirty-five people – teens to seniors – from the North Santiam Canyon, participating in the Ford Institute Leadership Program, have met since early this year as part of the final cohort.

“Several projects were put forth as possibilities to come within our guidelines, with a donation from the Ford Institute for a one-day event that hopefully will be successful and be carried forward each year,” said Linda Sunderland with the Cohorts 3 marketing team, whose members toured communities throughout the summer for project ideas.

“Project ideas included a paint project in Stayton, pond cleanup in Aumsville and placing shadowboxes in empty storefronts in Detroit,” added Ronda Lehman, also a Cohorts 3 member. “Fundraising was to be minimal, with some donations.”

Community projects making the final cut are painting the cement brick wall at Westown in Stayton, sprucing up with plants the Mehama Community Center, and a North Santiam River cleanup project in Mill City.

“In addition to volunteers, donations of paint, paint brushes, plants, gloves and gardening tools are welcome,” Sunderland said.

A participant “thank-you” and celebration will follow from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Camp Taloali, 15934 N. Santiam Highway SE, Stayton. Food, music, recreational activities, and environmental resource information booths will be a part of the celebration.

Volunteers at the event will be entered to win prizes. Register at For information, message

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