Church group, offenders team to tidy park

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Fruit Valley — Vancouver Lake Regional Park got some needed fall grooming earlier this month thanks to about 55 volunteers from Crossroads Community Church. The volunteers spent three hours on Nov. 12 raking leaves, cleaning playground equipment and picnic shelters, pruning and picking up enough garbage to fill eight bags as part of the church’s “Second Saturday” event for community service.

Also participating were 10 juvenile offenders and five mentors from Clark County Juvenile Court’s Restorative Community Services Program. Karen Trout, volunteer coordinator with the Clark County Department of Public Works, said the program has more than 450 events annually to hold juvenile offenders accountable and provide restitution in a way that integrates them into the broader community. “This is a great opportunity to provide these kids with life-changing experiences,” she said.