Volunteers will spread out across Ashland on Saturday morning Sept. 12 as part of a community-wide clean-up and beautification effort — “Make Ashland Sparkle,” according to a news release from the Rotary Club of Ashland. 

The project’s sponsors — the Rotary Club of Ashland, the Ashland County Ministerial Association and the City of Ashland — are encouraging churches, civic groups, Scouts, Ashland University staff/students and individual residents and families to participate in this community-wide effort. 

″‘Make Ashland Sparkle’ is an opportunity to participate in a family friendly, socially distanced service project. We want everyone to take pride in all of Ashland,” said Lee Peters, a past president of the Rotary Club and lead organizer of the effort, in a prepared statement. 

Among the projects to be tackled include painting fire hydrants and trash cans, cleaning up downtown and picking up litter along the city’s gateway highways, the release said. 

The cleanup effort will run from 8:30 a.m. until noon with participants gathering in City Parking Lot B (behind the Chamber of Commerce office) to pick their assignments. Paint, cleaning supplies and lunch will be provided. Masks and social distancing will be encouraged. 

To register or for more information, go online to AshlandRotary.net and click on sign-up link. The first 100 volunteers to register will get a “Make Ashland Sparkle” T-shirt. 

“Make Ashland Sparkle” has its roots in two earlier efforts. 

The Rotary Club has conducted various previous cleanup projects, including a stretch of the U.S. 42 bypass for years. 

Last year, the Ashland Church of the Nazarene, launched a community service initiative called Christians Transforming Society (ACTS). Other churches joined their efforts to paint fire hydrants around the city, according to Dave Langdon, pastor of the local Nazarene church. 

“We were hoping to get more churches involved this spring, but COVID cancelled our plans,” Langdon said in the release. “Around that time, Lee Peters contacted me about wanting to plan a city-wide cleanup day for the fall. We decided to combine our efforts for an event that would have broader participation and impact in our community.” 

According to Amanda Patterson, community outreach coordinator for the city, “Addressing some of these details — freshening up the paint on our fire hydrants and picking up litter in downtown’s less visible areas — contribute to a much larger picture in improving our city.”