GALION — As Galion’s bike path project nears completion, areas surrounding the path have been receiving a thorough debris clean up.
City of Galion officials requested assistance from the Summer Youth Program to get the path ready to officially open to the public. Four workers answered the call: Galion’s Danielle Alexander, Lilah Auck and Nasya Riddle, and Vanessa Jennings, of Bucyrus.
They have been picking up old car parts, car doors, tires, and other large items littered along the path. The project site was formerly an auto salvage yard. Shards of broken glass are also embedded in the dirt along both sides of the path, which the ladies have been carefully collecting with gloved hands.
The Summer Youth Program is sponsored by Crawford County Jobs and Family Services. It gives youth and young adults — with barriers to employment — an opportunity to develop a work history. It is designed for those between the ages of 14-24. Goodwill Industries provides the on-site training and mentoring to workers in the program.
Job Coach Tim Tanner has been with Goodwill Industries since 2014.
“This is the best crew I’ve worked with,” he said. “They work hard even in the heat. I’m really impressed.”
Tanner noted all of the ladies have shown initiative, promptness, and work well as a team. Tuesday, July 13 was their third day of cleaning the bike path, and countless residents have already stopped to show their appreciation.
This summer the team has been working two days per week in Galion and two days in Bucyrus. They previously spruced up the Veteran’s Memorial in Heise Park and pulled weeds in the Historic Uptowne Galion, near the gazebo.
Despite the heat, the young ladies said they are having fun with the projects assigned to them.
“The program has helped me be more social. I’ve made friends because of it,” Danielle Alexander said.
The north trail head is located on Bucyrus Road across from Pizza Hut. The path follows the Olentangy River south to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The city will announce an official opening date soon.