First responders clean up the community and build relationships on Earth Day

WHITEHALL, Ohio (WCMH) — A group of central Ohio first responders spent Earth Day cleaning up their town and connecting with their community.

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds have joined police and firefighters in Whitehall for clean-up efforts which they believe will build relationships and further strengthen their community.

“It’s really cool to see the community come together and be proud of what it looks like,” says KJ Watts, deputy chief of the Whitehall Division of Fire.

On Thursday, the team of volunteers got their hands dirty planting, mulching and cleaning up trash along the entrances to the town.

“As a police service, one of our goals is to be present in the community; being involved in the community and interacting in the community, and what could be better than that? encourages the sergeant. Jon Earl with Whitehall Police.

City leaders say that with a busy schedule of community events and growing youth sports programs, their parks will be used more this summer than ever before.

“We’re very involved in parks, it’s important,” says Earl. “We watch everything they do just to get our officers with the public as much as possible.”

Beautification efforts have been a focus of the city’s parks department for several years.

This is an opportunity for first responders to connect with community members in a different setting.

“Knowing everyone when we run over to them for their emergencies, and having that intimate connection, and that small-town feel is just super important,” Watts points out. “Making the community look good also makes everything safe.”

While for volunteers, it’s a lesson for the future and a chance to teach their children the importance of investing in the community.

“It’s really important to me as a mother to teach them how to run our community well, and how to be a good neighbor and take care of where we live,” said Ashley Williams, a resident of Whitehall.

Cleanup efforts will continue on Saturday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

If you would like to volunteer, you can register here.

Volunteers can also drop by at 4924 Etna Rd. in John Bishop Park or 402 N. Hamilton Rd. in Whitehall Community Park.

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