Park Cleanup

Pilot Rock High School students freshman Coen Little, left, and senior Carly Smethers move wooden debris while working on a cleanup project at Community Park on Thursday in Pendleton.

Spreading positivity. Seems like a good goal and one we should all strive for, and an antidote to the ugliness that can creep in.

Yet while many of us like the notion of distributing encouraging words, recently some local youth and volunteers plunked down time and effort to make a difference.

Pilot Rock students — spearheaded by high school track coach Kimee Haguewood — banded to clean up Pendleton’s Community Park after it was damaged by the rising water of McKay Creek in April.

Ten students from Pendleton High School also participated in the effort. Community members, volunteers and staff from the Pendleton Parks and Recreation Department pitched in as well.

The volunteers hauled away debris left in the wake of the high waters such as rocks, trees and other debris last week.

Community Park, which also showcases the Pendleton Rotary Disc Golf Course, needed some tender loving care and the volunteers and city staff who came out to spruce it up deserve praise.

Making a difference is never an easy task. It takes time, effort and a kind of dedication that can be seemingly hard to come by in our modern world.

That’s why the effort at Community Park is so significant and should be inspiring. The park itself is a bit of a local landmark and to see it damaged by flood waters was a discouraging incident.

It is often easy to dismiss or overlook volunteer efforts like the one to enhance Community Park. But we shouldn’t. The park project illustrates clearly that there are people — including youth — in our community that care about it and want to make it better.

The organizations that prompted the Community Park effort — Pendleton Parks and Recreation, Pilot Rock High School, Pendleton High School and local brokers from Keller Williams Realty — deserve a thank you from all of us.

Stepping up to help out the community should be a priority. Spending time — and some sweat and elbow grease — is a small price to pay for the luxury we enjoy to live in this great area.

Hermiston residents will soon have the opportunity to show their love for community and neighbors at the Funland playground at Butte Park.

Much of the playground, part of Hermiston’s recreation area surrounding the Butte, was irreparably damaged by fire last week, the result of suspected arson.

It’s easy to curse the nameless and faceless perpetrator. Why someone would intentionally and anonymously cause so much destruction to a place of fun and joy for children is a mystery. But rather than letting that negativity control the community, we believe the community will respond with kindness and determination.

As police do what they can to solve the crime (similar to the one two decades ago with no culprit found), the rest of us can set to cleaning up the mess and building anew.

Mayor Dave Drotzmann in a video message said he was resolved to make sure the park is rebuilt. We know Hermiston citizens will join in the effort.

Spending a day, or even a few hours, to help beautify our community is more than just a good way to get some sun. It is the best kind of civic service. We can all take notice of the effort and use it as a guide to stepping up to make a real difference.

Kudos to all of those who helped tidy up Community Park. You earned and deserve our praise.

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