Volunteers Spruce Up Florence Before Start Of Classes

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Even before classes start, students in the Shoals get to work.  More than 200 volunteers from the University of North Alabama lend a hand throughout the community.

These projects spruce up the area but also leave a lasting impression on the volunteers.

As a park in progress, construction crews add to Memorial Grove over time.  However, this park got a big boost from a group of volunteers on Tuesday.

“I’ve never been to a memorial or built one before so it really means a lot to me,” said Ashlyn Riley, project volunteer.

Memorial Grove honors fallen officers in Florence and that’s why one volunteer chose this project at out of any other.

“I decided to come here specifically because I have a lot of military family and a lot of family in the force, and I just wanted to help out and give back to them,” said Robin Cutting, a UNA freshman.

This year, the City of Florence recycling department teamed up with the Lion Lend a Hand program to pick up trash.

“It would just be easier if nobody littered and nobody would have to do this,” said volunteer, Abbie Holbert.

Recycling officials say the city spends a lot of money picking up litter with employees staffed to cover streets every day but with helping hands willing to do the work, it takes a burden off the city crew.

“Our whole thing at UNA is all about having Lion pride so I absolutely think it helps the whole city,” said Holbert.

It’s a community wide improvement effort that will leave lasting effects, even when these students trade in the work gloves for a textbook.

Volunteers also helped at the Boys and Girls Club, the senior center, and Kilby School.