Community chaplain Chuck Harper (left) and John Howard Society volunteer Eric Denison clean up garbage near the train station plaza in downtown Vernon Friday. Residents, business owners, politicians and volunteers from all walks of life turned up for the downtown community clean up to make their city shine following the recent snow melt that has revealed garbage, debris and even needles around town. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Community chaplain Chuck Harper (left) and John Howard Society volunteer Eric Denison clean up garbage near the train station plaza in downtown Vernon Friday. Residents, business owners, politicians and volunteers from all walks of life turned up for the downtown community clean up to make their city shine following the recent snow melt that has revealed garbage, debris and even needles around town. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Community rallies to clean up Vernon’s streets

Downtown event Friday aims to spruce up city before summer

A conversation about sprucing up downtown Vernon ahead of summer resulted in a strong turnout Friday morning for the Downtown Community Clean-Up.

The event was the brainchild of Partners in Action, Social Planning Council, Community Safety Office and the Downtown Vernon Association, and drew more than 50 volunteers to clean up garbage and debris from the downtown core between 7:30 and 9 a.m.

“We put feelers out and the community grabbed onto them very quickly and we had full commitment within a week,” said Susan Lehman, executive director of the DVA.

“This morning we’ve had more than 50 volunteers show up. Our alleys look great. We’ve had participants from the city, business and community members and representatives from every social agency in town.”

Among the participants were Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold and Upper Room Mission co-executive director Lisa Anderson.

“We’re all trying to do a little bit to help clean up the city,” said Anderson. “We found garbage, recycling, a few sharps (needles), and we’re excited we can get it off the streets and into the dumpsters.”

Volunteers were treated to a pancake breakfast by the Lions Club.

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Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold (centre) was among the more than 50 volunteers who showed up Friday morning for the Downtown Community Clean-Up. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold (centre) was among the more than 50 volunteers who showed up Friday morning for the Downtown Community Clean-Up. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)