The rain and gloomy weather did not stop 40 community members and 70 Ohio National Guard members from coming together to help clean up Boettler Park May 17.

The rain and gloomy weather did not stop 40 community members and 70 Ohio National Guard members from coming together to help clean up Boettler Park May 17.

The city and National Guard have partnered on similar events, but the May 17 clean-up day marked the first time the two had collaborated since 2008.

“This allows our residents to work together with the guard for a good cause,” Green Parks Superintendent, Mike Elkins said. “We got quite a bit of work done even with the rain.”

Volunteers completed trail work, landscaped, provided routine playground maintenance, planted flowers and sealcoated picnic tables. The rain did prevent volunteers from sealcoating and painting the playground.

This was the third project in which Sgt. David Sollberger has taken part in since joining the National Guard in 1999. He believes it is a great way for guard members to get experience working in the community.

“Everything the National Guard does is a service,” Sollberger said. “This is a community project that is not a disaster.”

Elkins said he was grateful for the help and wanted to thank the National Guard and the community for helping out.

“Without my staff this doesn't happen,” Elkins said. “There is a lot of preparation and planning that occurs before the event, and then the guard and residents execute the plan.”

The city plans to host the event again next year.