“It takes a village” goes the old saying, and the city of Puyallup is thankful for its army of volunteers in their village, which keeps the city’s parks and open spaces cleaned up and ready for recreation.
“Maintaining our parks and open spaces is a big job,” Parks and Recreation Director Sarah Harris said at the Dec. 8 Puyallup City Council meeting, which honored Puyallup’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and other volunteer groups.
The LDS church held its Day of Service Sept. 12, where 275 volunteers committed to 225 hours of volunteer work at Woodbine Cemetery.
“We are so appreciative of their efforts,” Harris said. “They’re always calling and asking if we have any other projects they can work on. We can’t say thank you enough.”
As a thank you, the city presented Janice Martin, the church’s Day of Service director, a plaque on behalf of the church’s efforts.
“The theme (of Day of Service) is to be a service to others,” Martin said. “We serve on the large and small scale in our community.”
Among those who volunteered back in September was Andrew Miller, a member of the Puyallup LDS church, his wife and their six children. They spent the day cleaning up sod and dirt off of grave markers.
“It made service for my kids fun,” he said of his family’s second year volunteering during Day of Service. “They were able to see that it was more than just work, but it was about giving back to the community.”
The church’s project coordinator, Diane Kienholz, said in an email that Day of Service is the “sweetest service project.”
“A very special feeling attends this time spent at the cemetery,” she said. “Even the very young loved helping.”
While Day of Service and other volunteer efforts the LDS church provides means a lot for those donating their time, city staff has long appreciated the church’s efforts.
“We welcome the service they provide,” said Deke Jones, Property and Facilities manager for the city. “It’s a great partnership. It supplements the one full-time worker and seasonal workers we have at Woodbine. It’s a big big help since we have 25 acres out there and 11,000 internments. We have folks in the old section of the cemetery from over 100 years ago.”