Tidying-Up : Volunteers help clean local parks

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Jackie Desrosiers, a member of the Nashua Rainbow Girls chapter, makes her way down a row of bushes she helped rake out and clean up in the Nashua Public Library's lower courtyard on Saturday. Several club members took part in the parks cleanup day.

NASHUA – One of longtime Nashua resident Karen Wolfe’s favorite places to walk or bike is a trail that runs along the north bank of the Nashua River from Main Street to the Cotton Mill Square complex.

With each visit, however, Wolfe would get bummed out at the sight of all the trash and other debris stuck in the brush or littering the steep riverbank – until Saturday.

Now, thanks to dozens of volunteers like Wolfe, her favorite stretch of the city’s Northwest Riverwalk and a bunch of other downtown parks and trails are a whole lot cleaner and much more inviting than they have been for some time.

Volunteers came from all around to take part in what was billed as Downtown Nashua Parks Cleanup Day, an Earth Day Eve project coordinated by the folks at Great American Downtown.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Caitlyn Edwards leans on her rake to reach down and grab trash strewn in the bushes along one side of the Nashua Public Library's lower courtyard. She and several other Rainbow Girls members took part in the downtown parks cleanup day Saturday morning.

Nashua’s observance of the 48th annual Earth Day continues Sunday, when Mayor Jim Donchess and other city officials will host a gathering at Greeley Park in the area of the fountain.

The event will run from noon-2 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring lunch and a blanket. Craft activities for children, involving recycled bottles, will take place.

Present will be members of Nashua’s Energy and Environment Committee, who, according to city officials, will discuss the Nashua Solarize Campaign.

“We’re excited to treat our green spaces to some spring cleaning,” GAD posted on social media ahead of Saturday’s cleanup day.

Due to what GAD called “the number of very successful early-spring cleanup events” at Mine Falls Park, they were able to redirect a lot of volunteers to other, smaller areas that needed attention.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Longtime Nashua resident Karen Wolfe, center, joined two other volunteers Saturday morning in cleaning up the area around a sculpture titled "Diversity," which was created by local sculptors and installed in 2010 near the Nashua River off Front Street.

In addition to the stretch of the Northwest Riverwalk, groups of volunteers were also dispatched to a stretch of the Northeast Rail Trail from Main Street east to Margarita’s restaurant; the Nashua Heritage Rail Trail, beginning at City Hall; two courtyards on Court Street between the Nashua Public Library and the Jan Streeter Theatre; June Caron Park on Cottage Avenue; the Belvedere Tot Lot on Bridge Street; and the tot lots on Shattuck and Salem streets in the city’s French Hill neighborhood.

In all, an estimated 140 volunteers took part.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.

STaff photo by Dean Shalhoup Mark Germann, a Nashua resident who was one of dozens of volunteers to take part in Saturday's downtown parks cleanup day, uses a blower to put the finishing touches on a section of the northwest Riverwalk after he and several volunteers picked up trash and raked out the area.