As Galion’s bike path project nears completion, areas surrounding the path are receiving a thorough debris clean up. Galion City officials requested assistance from the Summer Youth Program to get the path ready to officially open to the public.
Four workers answered the call: Danielle Alexander, Lilah Auck and Nasya Riddle, all of Galion, and Vanessa Jennings of Bucyrus.
They have been picking up old car parts, car doors, tires, and other large items littered along the path. The project site was formerly an auto salvage yard. Shards of broken glass are also embedded in the dirt along both sides of the path, which the ladies have been carefully collecting with gloved hands.
The Summer Youth Program is sponsored by Crawford County Jobs and Family Services in order to give people with barriers to employment an opportunity to develop work history. It is directed at people ages 14-24. Goodwill Industries provides the on-site training and mentoring to workers in the program.
Job Coach Tim Tanner has been with Goodwill Industries since 2014. “This is the best crew I’ve worked with,” he said. “They work hard even in the heat. I’m really impressed.”
Tanner noted all of the ladies show initiative, promptness, and work well as a team.
July 13 was their third day of cleaning the bike path, and countless residents have already stopped to show their appreciation.
This summer the team has been working two days per week in Galion and two days in Bucyrus. They previously spruced up the Veteran’s Memorial in Heise Park and pulled weeds in the Uptowne gazebo area.
Despite the heat, the young ladies said they are having fun with the projects assigned to them.
“The program has helped me be more social. I’ve made friends because of it,” Danielle Alexander said.
The north trail head is located on Bucyrus Road across from Pizza Hut and the path follows the Olentangy River south to the Waste Water Treatment Plant. The City will announce an official opening date soon.