Day of Service | Oneida County Newspaper – The Idaho Enterprise

Last year, Malad City officially participated in the 9/11 National Day of Service for the first time.  Last year’s projects included garbage cleanup at Crowthers reservoir and the frontage road, painting the dugouts and benches at Pioneer Park, cleaning debris in New Canyon, cleaning cemeteries, and a variety of projects in Samaria.  This year, the projects included replacing the roof on the hog barn at the Fairgrounds, cleaning the ground and laying the base for an eventual ice skating rink east of the Search and Rescue building, planting and trimming trees at the City Park, working toward completion of the high school greenhouse, and once again, a variety of projects at Heritage Square in Samaria.  
The Fairgrounds project was headed up by Patrick Werk, as an important improvement to the Fairgrounds.  The old roof had certainly served its purpose, but was well past time for replacement.  The project involved removing the old roof, which was no easy task, and installing the new one.  The new roof both improves the look and the function of the hog barn area.  Involved in the project were Patrick Werk, Mike Semrad, Avis Semrad, Kyle Daniel’s, Maxx Semrad, Scott Murray, Nathan Whipple, John Hardy, Brandon Purdom and others.
The greenhouse project was headed up by new Ag teacher Lexie Evans, along with David Gilgen, Principal Michael Corbett and others.  The greenhouse has been an ongoing project, which has received donations and grants from several sources over the last year or so, as well as the support of the FFA Alumni and Supporters.
  The greenhouse will be used in conjunction with Ag classes as a means of putting into practice many of the educational outcomes for the curriculum, as well as providing a practical entrée into agribusiness.  The greenhouse will be used to grow starts, which will be used for a variety of applications, including those in conjunction with the City’s community garden near the City Park.  The plan is to have the structure ready for spring, when it will be used in a Greenhouse Management class, which will culminate in a sale.  Eventually, projects such as poinsettias and start sales will be run by the students.
Speaking of Malad High School, the Student Council elected to clear brush and lay plastic onto the field east of the Search and Rescue building, a location which will be seasonally converted into an ice skating rink when the weather turns.  The group cleared wheelbarrows full of weeds before laying down hundreds of yards of repurposed plastic sheeting to create a waterproof base layer for the structure.  Ice skating has been hosted in the location in the past, but not recently.  The current Student Body Council was on hand, along with Tori Green to manage the preparation.
In the City Park, City Councilperson Jaime Olsen led a number of groups in planting trees along the greenway walking path, as well as removing weeds and trimming trees already present in the area.  Since the greenway was begun, the City has been very active in beautifying and adding to it in an ongoing way.  Plans for moving and improving the baseball fields, adding pickle ball courts, finishing the perimeter lighting and adding to the landscaping are currently underway.
This year’s Produce exchange, headed up by Relief Society President Vikki Kent, was the first of its kind for the Day of Service.  The idea was that anyone who had extra produce could bring it to the central location at the park and exchange it for the extra produce other people also wanted to trade.  While there was not an overabundance of produce on hand during the morning, those who participated were very satisfied to trade their cucumbers for zucchinis, and vice versa.
Samaria, as it was last year, was a busy hive of activity during the day.  A “chore chart” of all the various projects in need of completion throughout Heritage Square was on display, so that the many who showed up to participate could choose the jobs that appealed to them, such as staining and linseeding wooden tables and lamp posts, weeding, erecting a flag pole, and a number of other projects that had a good turnout of families and individuals involved throughout the day.
Several volunteers gathered at the Holbrook Cemetery.  The volunteers worked together to expand the Holbrook Cemetery by extending the fence around the cemetery’s additional land.  The group worked to dig post holes, place the posts, and mix and pour cement in each hole.  The cemetery caretaker, Shane Willie, commented to the project leader, Brayden Eliason, how great it was to get so much help and work done in a single morning.  The volunteers also worked to repaint the “Welcome to Holbrook” signs that had become very worn due to natural weathering.
 Volunteers helping in Holbrook included Duane Carter, Shelly Carter, Trenton Carter, Peggie Smith, Burt Smith, Nate Eliason, Carsey Eliason, Tanzi Eliason, Kolt Eliason, Brad Hess, Wendy Hess, Corey Ihler, Isaac Bird, Lance Bird, Preston Bird, Shane Willie, Larry Nalder, Ken Eliason, Don Eliason, Connor Worrel, Kaleigh Worrel, Santana Hubbard, Brayden Eliason, Allison Eliason, Mason Eliason, Wade Eliason, Avery Eliason, and Paul Smith.
A number of smaller, independent projects were also carried out across the valley.
After the day’s events concluded, a lunch was hosted in the City Park by the Interfaith Council.
The 9/11 National Day of Service was begun by the nonprofit MyGoodDeed in 2009 and  officially adopted by Congress the same year.  The event was begun as a way to commemorate the events of 9/11 and the sacrifice of those who gave their all to responding to the crisis, but also the time period which followed, in which a general spirit of unified faith in community and country had been widespread.  In the more than two decades since, it would be hard to argue that the same spirit of comity and community spirit has always been present, so it’s nice to see at least a glimmer of that spirit in 2022.  The Day of Service founders have expressed their hopes that the day will rekindle national shared effort as much as possible, and remind people of what is possible when they work together.

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