Three days after Earth Day, McFarland is hosting its own annual day of giving back.
The date for McFarland Community Service Day 2020 is set for Saturday, April 25, from 8 a.m. to noon.
The volunteer committee decided on this date at the Thursday, Jan. 2, meeting because of its proximity to Earth Day and hopes of warmer weather.
Cleanups of roadsides, kayak hangups and most of McFarland’s parks will return this year, as well as a waterway cleanup via kayak.
Volunteers will paddle along one of five predesignated routes and pick up waste along the Yahara River, Lower Mud Lake and Lake Waubesa. Volunteers must have their own kayak or access to a kayak, but the village provides trash pickers and bags.
The community garden, which opens on the same day as Community Service Day, the E.D. Locke Public Library in partnership with the McFarland Police Department and public works will also have volunteer opportunities.
A signup sheet for all activities will be available on Signup Genius as the date approaches. Signup sheets will also be available in the lobby of the McFarland Municipal Center.
“As in previous years, there will be snacks and so forth at the municipal center that day,” committee member Katie Gletty-Syoen said. “People will pick up any supplies they need, like maps or instructions, and head out from there to areas in the village.”
Committee members discussed adding new volunteer opportunities to the usual roster of activities.
Throughout the winter, volunteers have participated in woodland restoration workdays to remove invasive species from McFarland’s woodlands.
Lead by parks superintendent Sayer Larson, removal of invasive species will carry over to Community Service Day with another chance to spruce up the parks. Invasive garlic mustard seed can easily be pulled out of the ground, making it a good volunteer opportunity for people of all ages, including children.
Dog owners can get involved with a cleanup of Urso Dog Park.
“We’ve had cleanups at the dog park in the past, but we thought we’d emphasize it this year,” Gletty-Syoen said.
Members agreed that while most owners are diligent about picking up after their dogs, the dog may run out of their sight.
“Most people are pretty conscious in doing it … where you run into an issue is if your dog takes off and you don’t have it in sight,” Village President and committee member Brad Czebotar said.
Waste can contribute to nitrous oxide levels in the lake, leading to blue-green algae.
Volunteers will clean up waste, garbage and brush that finds its way to the park.
Fliers will be put up at the dog park as the date approaches.
As activities are planned, high school students are getting a head start by volunteering their graphic design skills.
The committee worked with McFarland High School art teacher Lindy Wiesmann’s class during their graphic design unit.
A group of students chose to redesign the Community Service Day poster, which has been in use for 12 years. One of their designs could be used as the new poster.