Marietta clean-ups planned for Saturday

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Peer Recovery Support Specialist Shay Dunn, left, talks with Melissa Warrener, about community service coming this Saturday before class at Marietta Municipal Court Tuesday.

Community service will come in many forms Saturday from Marietta Main Street volunteers clearing out downtown flower beds to municipal court helpers picking up debris from recent wind storms in Oak Grove Cemetery.

“When the court gives us these opportunities to volunteer it’s also helping us,” said Melissa Warrener, 38, of Marietta, who jumped at the opportunity when she was told about it Tuesday during class at the court. “Getting out in the community to be recognized as normal people again is huge.”

Warrener is approaching four years in recovery from heroin addiction, and was in municipal court’s Thinking for a Change class Tuesday.

And for her, the opportunity to serve in the cemetery has a double significance.

“When my husband overdosed he was 27, and he’s buried back there in Oak Grove Cemetery,” she explained. “I was 24 at the time, and I’ve carried that with me through a lot of my struggles.”

She said there’s a section in the back of the cemetery where many of the indigent burials happen, and where he is laid to rest.

“And even those people, though they don’t have the money for the nice cemeteries like East Lawn, they deserve a nice place too. I wouldn’t miss this,” Warrener added.

Probation Officer Melanie Ferrell told the Thinking for a Change class about the opportunity Tuesday and reminded attendees that the community service hours could go toward their required volunteer time or fines.

“There’s not going to be any weed-eating or mowing, it’s picking up the trees, sticks and stuff so the city crews can get to mowing out there,” Ferrell said.

Marietta Municipal Court Judge Janet Dyar Welch explained to Marietta City Council last week that the cleanup would run in tandem with, but be separate from Marietta Main Street’s Clean Sweep taking place Saturday from 7 to 10 a.m.

Court Administrator Justin Hamilton said Tuesday the court’s community service group will be supervised by a court intern, and offer four hours of service in the cemetery.

“Our goal is to bring 10 to 15 volunteers, some will be on bond, some are paying back fines, and some have court-ordered community service,” Hamilton explained. “Anytime we can organize and get volunteers into the communities, county-wide, we like to offer that, and Oak Grove is such a wide area, you can cover a lot of ground with an organized group to pick up what those wind storms have left behind.”

Main Street volunteers will gather at the Armory, 241 Front St., at 7 a.m. and focus on clearing flower beds and mulching downtown for three hours.

If you go:

• Marietta Main Street is gathering volunteers for the spring clean sweep to be held from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday.

• Volunteers will meet at the Armory, 241 Front St.

• Those participating are asked to bring gloves and rakes, wear comfortable clothes that can get dirty and appropriate footwear.

• To register a group to volunteer contact Marietta Main Street at sam@mariettamainstreet.org or 740-885-8194.

Source: Marietta Main Street.

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