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Volunteer park plan presented to Toledo City Council

The Collins administration wants to create a volunteer program for citizens and public and private organizations to care for and maintain parks and other public property.

Plans for the “Adopt-a-Park” program were presented Tuesday to Toledo City Council during its agenda-review committee meeting.

Dennis Garvin, the city’s commissioner of parks, recreation, and forestry, told council members that participating volunteers would be allowed to do such minor maintenance as applying mulch to playground areas, planting and maintaining flower beds, and picking up trash.

“We are discouraging them from doing anything involving heavy equipment,” Mr. Garvin said. “This would be very light maintenance.”

The volunteer activity could include offering a second set of eyes to watch for illegal activity and vandalism at parks and other public property to assist the parks division and police, Mr. Garvin said.

Besides parks, cul-de-sacs in neighborhoods, parkways, rights-of-way, downtown planters, and other public areas could be maintained by volunteers.

Information about the program and applications would be posted on the city Web site.

The resolution includes a review process for volunteer requests to be approved by the parks department, Mayor D. Michael Collins, the city law department, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 7, which represents about 850 city workers.

“This doesn’t supplant the work our employees do. It will supplement the work they do,” Councilman Steve Steel said.

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