Up the block from the BannerGraphic office, Mayor Nancy Michael and other city leaders rolled back their sleeves and went to work planting fresh fall flowers in the concrete planters around the square and applying new mulch to the tree pits as part of Putnam County United Way's inaugural Day of Caring.
"It's amazing what a difference it makes and how it makes our town look better for people who pass through," Mayor Michael said wearing her blue jeans and brown work gloves.
Organizer Cathryn Ensley, who grabbed a shovel and went to work alongside other United Way volunteers, said work crews repaired fences at Hope Haven horse farm on U.S. 40, weeded flower beds at Johnson-Nichols, performed a demolition project at Opportunity Housing, and painted at the Youth Commission and Mental Health America Putnam County office as well.
In all, more than a dozen workers completed six projects around the city Friday morning, Ensley said.
"I think this a great opportunity to show how much can be done in one day and with lots of people helping," Ensley said.
United Way's kick-off breakfast was conducted Friday morning, after which time the Day of Caring was begun.
"This is our first Day of Caring and we just wanted to demonstrate how much this community cares," Ensley said.
United Way volunteer Eric Wolfe, who helped with the downtown planting, said people were coming up to him and commenting on the flowers and mulch.
"I think people have been very nice and appreciative. The project makes the downtown look nice and uniform," he said.
Those helping with the downtown plantings included Wolfe, Ensley, Mayor Michael, Glen, Tiffany Brunes, Mariellyn Hill, Amy Doan and Jim and Laurie Hardwick.
Other volunteers, Ensley said, were Margo Hertenstein, Colleen Matthews, Jim Ensley, Josh Richardson, Sue Bowser, Craig Chrispell, Georgenna Gick, Terese Cunningham, Sharon Bridges, James Eystad, Mace Terry, Dan Rendant, Jason Noggle, Blake Schowe, James Erlenbaugh and Rick Alexander.