Getting dirty for a good cause

Local volunteers tackle Thompson Park maintenance

East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling presents gardening tools to volunteers from Employment Development Inc. recently in Thompson Park, where they will be maintaining two gardens. In addition to Byers-Emmerling (left), volunteers include Nate Bussard, Don Whitney, Becky Tice, Jana Luzer and Ashley Feezle. Not pictured is Scott Nally. (Submitted photo)

EAST LIVERPOOL — One hundred plus acres of glorious ground is a lot to cover for only two men, so Thompson Park Superintendent Shawn Rybaczenko is looking for a few able bodied volunteers.

Volunteers from Employment Development Inc., a local job training service, were on hand last week, working on maintaining two gardens near the front of the park with garden tools donated by East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling, who herself has taken a special interest in the park. “She walks here every day,” Rybaczenko explained.

Ashley Feezle, program director for EDI, and Jana Luzer, front line professional, accompanied the small group who spent the morning hours weeding their adopted gardens. “We will schedule them twice a week,” Feezle said, adding that will include different shifts.

Rybaczenko said his goal is to involve as many people with Thompson Park as he can. “Come out in nature and have a good time,” he could be heard shouting to the crew. “Get your fingers dirty.”

Periodically, he admits to getting volunteer assistance from scout troops, but he is looking for additional organizations to help with the park. For more information, call 330-385-2255 and leave Rybaczenko a message.

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