The Town of Elizabeth held its annual Town Clean Up Day on May 7, but tidying up the town's parks and streets was not the only work carried out on that Saturday. Several other groups in the area got an early start to beat the chilly weather that moved in by the afternoon to make repairs, raise funds and green up the town.
Town Administrator Dick Eason wrangled up around 35 volunteers to spread mulch at parks, pick up trash on sidewalks along Highway 86, and complete minor landscaping around the town hall, where later that afternoon hot dogs and burgers were grilled to feed hungry volunteers.
To assist with the cleanup, the town brought in three dumpsters again this year for residents to bring loads of trash. In addition, Elizabeth Police Chief Stephen Hasler led a group of volunteers to make pickups in the department's HMMWV and trailer for residents who were unable to deliver trash on their own.
At the Arena at Casey Jones Park, Elizabeth Stampede volunteers continued work on the grandstands that began last month. This year the stands are receiving a makeover.
Stampede Board of Directors President Jace Glick said that it was the first time the bleacher planks had been completely stripped since the stands were acquired from the Estes Park Fairgrounds eight to ten years ago, and workers were discovering new colors of paint with each layer stripped.
Glick guessed that there were up to nine coats of paint from as long as 25 years ago on some of the planks. Around 50 percent of the grandstand planks are being replaced this year, and a new deck treatment will reduce splinters and fill gaps in the wood.
Glick expressed his gratitude to all the volunteers who had been working so hard to prepare the grounds, especially the work done by members of the Elbert County Sherriff's Office Special Projects group that allowed low-risk jail inmates to work at the arena.
Just off Main Street, master gardeners from the CSU Extension office, members of the Elizabeth Tree Board, and Community Development Director Rachel Hodgson held the second annual tree and plant sale as part of a delayed Arbor Day commemoration. Winter weather the previous weekend had forced the postponement of this year's event by one week.
The Arbor Day Foundation has designated Elizabeth as a Tree City USA for 17 years, and the tree sale is one aspect of that program.
In addition to the Arbor Day observance, the town maintains its Tree City USA designation by appointing an individual responsible for the care of all trees on town property, creating a tree-care ordinance, and budgeting $2 per capita on a forestry program.
Finally, the Pines and Plains Libraries accepted donations for Goodwill and the Elbert County Coalition for Outreach alongside an electronics recycling drop-off. The drop-off point offered to recycle any electronic goods and offered the option of a hard-drive wipe.
In addition to a charging a small fee for accepting CRT monitors, the library was also accepting donations to support the Pines & Planes Libraries Foundation.