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Caring for Colton Day 2014 focuses on park cleanups

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COLTON - This year’s edition of Caring for Colton Day will be a two for one event.

On May 17 and May 31, the Colton community will come together as a makeshift clean-up crew to beautify 12 different sites in the Colton and South Colton hamlets.

Labor will involve raking, picking up trash and respreading mulch among other duties.

While the work will take place at a dozen different locations, there will be extra attention paid to three of the town’s parks - Sunday Rock Park, Three Falls Park and the John Stone Memorial Nature Trail.

“The Tourism and Beautification Committee has adopted 12 sites in town - the three parks and nine other places to plant and mulch the areas there. We use Caring for Colton Day to jump-start that effort and also every year some people use the day to pick up trash and other thing to help the community,” Tourism and Beautification Coordinator Ruth T. McWilliams said.

Sally Thomas has lived in South Colton for more than eight decades and is a critical component to what makes Caring for Colton Day the success that it is.

Ms. Thomas has organized volunteer efforts by family members, friends and other members of the community since the event began in 2010. Her work is primarily focused around Sunday Rock Park, a member of the National Register of Historic Places which is in South Colton.

“(The work) involves raking everything and putting in new mulch. We just try to make it look as nice as possible. I think the work may be a little bit more than usual this year because of the winter,” Ms. Thomas said. “It is a good group of people who do the work every year. I appreciate all of the people that work and do the same thing every year. There are people that do the raking and people that do the planting and it is just wonderful.”

“The Thomas family has a long history in South Colton. She involves a lot of her family members in helping. She is still the one who wants to spearhead it,” Ms. McWilliams added.

The Three Falls Park is also in South Colton and its work has been led by Ms. Thomas and Dave Crosby as well.

“Dave Crosby really had the vision for Three Falls Park,” Ms. McWilliams said.

“It was an old home site and Three Falls Park was something to do to replace somewhat of an eyesore. So this park got created. ... It was one of Sally Thomas’s dreams to help improve South Colton and this is just a nice place to sit down and relax,” Mr. Crosby said. “What we’re going to be doing is replacing any dead plants there. We will also be re-mulching along the various landscaping and then we will adjust any other kind of stuff that came from this winter.”

The John Stone Memorial Nature Trail is the former location of town hall and has recently come back to being utilized after much time spent in the dark.

Kirke Perry volunteered to lead the way in bringing the trail back to the hamlet last year and will be helping out again this year.

“Last year we redid a section of the trail. This year we will have to clean up all of the tree limbs from the ice storm that happened this winter,” Mr. Perry said. “I’ve been working with Caring for Colton for about three years and I helped repaint some buildings and things like that. I work with the ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) and the outdoor stuff and painting houses and things like that. I enjoy doing clean-up work and things of that nature.”

“(The trail) was kind of left unattended for years and last year (Mr. Perry) had helped pull out a lot of trash that had built up. This year he will do more work on May 31,” Ms. McWilliams said. “Last year he had really involved CPCS (Colton-Pierrepont Central School) students with the effort and it was a great thing to get them involved.”

With under a month until the first of two Caring for Colton Days kicks off, members of the work crew are hoping for another successful showing.

“We use Caring for Colton Day to really start our spring clean-up of not only the town parks but also the other sites in the town,” Ms. McWilliams said.

“It’s nice to have time to be a part of these activities that make our town a better place to live and nice to look at as you are passing through,” Mr. Crosby added.

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