Helena residents come together for Fall Cleanup Day

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA — The Helena Beautification Board and around 40 volunteers all came together on Saturday, Sept. 26 to help spruce up Old Town as part of the boards annual Fall Cleanup Day.

Board Chairman Chris VanCleave said that this event is held each year to help prepare the plants around town for winter, but they also serve an added educational benefit.

“It not only helps us to prepare the city for winter as far as our plantings go, but it also serves as an educational opportunity for students,” VanCleave said. “Many of them have never been exposed to horticulture or even the natural world around them. They get up close and personal with plants and get some hands on education that will never go away.”

This was one of the largest turnouts of volunteers for the event, with the majority of those being local students. Around 30 of the volunteers were students who just wanted to get out and assist with making their city more beautiful.

The volunteers met at The Caboose at 8 a.m. and got to work on different projects such as pruning all of the roses in Old Town, cutting back the rosemary plants that grow along the strip, re-mulching plant beds and other general cleanup and debris pickup.

Volunteers followed all social distancing and mask guidelines while working near each other to ensure the health and safety of all involved.

Typically, the board will host a spring cleanup day as well. However, due to the stay-at-home order that was in effect at the time, that cleanup was postponed.

“We were prevented from doing any planting or cleanup when we were under the order,” VanCleave said. “Everybody has been anxious to get out and finally do something.”