Last-minute preparations for Defiance’s “Clean Up Your Parks Day” this Saturday were the focus of the city parks board’s meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The city’s director of service, Rob Cereghin, called the annual event a “very, very big thing for us,” as a kickoff to the park-use season.

Park board members, who will be responsible for specific areas, discussed final preparations Wednesday. All the city’s parks, as well as the fort grounds and city reservoir property, will be targeted for cleanup.

As in past years, the effort will rely on students and volunteers to remove debris such as leaves, branches and trash from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday in these locations.

An April 17 rain date has been set, and with the forecast for rain later Saturday, officials are hopeful any precipitation will hold off. If not, a decision is expected to be made by 8 a.m. Saturday about continuing on.

Cereghin told the parks board Wednesday that “I’m hoping that we can get through this because I definitely need to get it done. The parks have got to get cleaned. This is our big thing ... This is (what) I look forward to — you guys coming together, the public coming together and getting the parks cleaned up. They definitely need it.” He had indicated at a previous parks board meeting that social distancing measures and mask-wearing will be expected. The event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus situation.

Volunteers are welcome and should bring gloves, appropriate clothing and yard tools, according to the city. Group leaders will assign tasks for the volunteers.

Lunch will be available to volunteers at 11:30 a.m. at Diehl Park with hamburgers, hotdogs and bratwurst on the menu.

A wider cleanup effort also will be featured Saturday for city residents generally.

Werlor Waste Control will position dumpsters at Bronson, Diehl, Kingsbury and Latty’s Grove (Veterans Memorial) parks from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday.

General trash will be accepted, but materials such as appliances, paint cans and tires, are prohibited.

Residents who use this service must provide driver’s license identification.

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