By Jim Haddadin
DOVER — Despite damp conditions, dozens of Dover residents turned out to help spruce up the city on Saturday morning.
Civic groups and regular citizens once again took part in the city’s annual Dover Pride Clean Up Day, volunteering four hours of their time to pitch in at sites around Dover.
The activity, held every year in the spring, gives residents an opportunity to help the city look its best for the upcoming tourist season and warm weather, according to coordinators at Dover Main Street.
This year’s event was held from 8 a.m. to noon. Sponsors included Centrix Bank, Wentworth Greenhouses and Kendall Pond Pizza. The Kiwanis Club also provided a pancake breakfast to kick off the event in the Mill Courtyard at 421 Central Ave. Volunteers then helped rake, prune, sweep, mulch, weed, paint and tend gardens around the city.
Norm Fracassa, of Fracassa Designworks, was the site leader in Henry Law Park, where he was joined by personnel from Dover Fire & Rescue and citizen volunteers. At the Rotary Trailhead, Sgt. Main Spiedel led a team from the Dover Police Department. Police volunteers were also deployed to the community trail, joined by a crew from Ryan’s Tree Service of Dover.
Andrew Quinton and Alicia de los Reyes work to clean up the area of Orchard St. and Central Ave. in Dover Saturday during Dover Pride Clean Up Day. John Huff/ Staff photographer
Parishioners from New Frontiers Church pitched in at the Dover Public Library and the McConnell Center, under direction from Adam Cullinane and Gary Bannon. Volunteers from the Skate Park Committee helped to spruce up the city’s skate park.Saturday’s event drew participation from several Dover High School soccer players, who pitched in at the Joe B. Parks Riverwalk Public Gardens. About 30 people helped to prepare the gardens for the coming warm weather. Dover Girl Scouts were at the Woodman Institute Museum, working with Jill Brooks, and Wil Boc and Tony McManus directed citizen volunteers at Immigrants Park, the locale at the corner of School Street with benches and a small grassy area. Citizens also pitched in at Waldron Court and Orchard Street, where Shawn Sippel of Mandias Consulting was helping out.
“Obviously today the weather wasn’t great and people still came out in full force,” Dover Main Street Program Director Michele Alexander said, “and we have a ton of groups that just volunteer to help make the city look great.”
Other groups that participated in Saturday’s event included a contingent of children affiliated with the Seymour Osman Community Center in Dover, as well as students at the University of New Hampshire.
“Something that makes Dover, I think, really nice is that we get hundreds of volunteers to come out for Dover pride clean up day,” Alexander said.
The annual cleanup saves the city money on labor costs, and also allows Dover Main Street to tap into the expertise of volunteers like Fracassa, who spent hours with Alexander discussing landscaping plans ahead of time.
“We really work hard, and people are proud to go back and look at the sites they worked on and see that they made a difference in the community,” Alexander said.