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Shelburne rolls up its sleeves to Get ‘R Done: New initiative underway to encourage volunteerism, community improvement

Published on July 28, 2017

On Aug. 2, community members are asked to drop by Graham’s Park in Shelburne to help with some projects, including painting this utility building.

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YARMOUTH, N.S. – Can you help Get ‘R Done? On Aug. 2, Shelburne residents are invited to come to Graham’s Park any time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for this new initiative.

The first Get ‘R Done Day, says Shelburne chief administrative officer Dylan Heide, is about painting the washrooms and utility building in Graham’s Park, along with various benches, picnic tables, wooden garbage bins and other things for the town’s parks and green spaces.

The town will supply the paint and paint brushes so all volunteers need to bring is clothing suitable for painting. There are washrooms to change in on site in case anyone is returning to work after helping out, says Heide.

The idea for this initiative came from discussions of the Town’s Community Participation and Volunteerism Committee, he said.

“The committee noted the need to identify short duration volunteer opportunities not requiring any ongoing commitment, to appeal to volunteers unable to take on the burden of a long-term commitment,” says Heide.

The idea was included in the council’s strategic plan, along with the plan to support other small neighborhood events, such as the recently held Sunday on Wheels Street Party, organized by a local resident.

Because it’s the first time the event has been held, the town has no idea how many people to expect, but Heide is hoping at least a dozen people will drop by to join town staff and council members throughout the day.

The work is suitable to most ages, says Heide, but younger children unable to pitch in are welcome to accompany their family members and play on the playground or in the newly-reopened splash pad. As an extra incentive, the town will be providing popsicles for everyone and a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card for those who volunteer.

The Town of Shelburne is planning more Get ‘R Done days for later in the summer each with a different focus based on community projects needing volunteer support, such as planting a natural plants rain garden on town land.

Heide says the reasons for the Get ‘R Done Days initiative are twofold. First, the town wants to encourage community building for both longstanding and new residents to allow people an opportunity to get to know fellow community members of different backgrounds and age.

“Secondly, involving community members in needed community projects is to everyone’s benefit,” says Heide. “We are showing pride in our community and helping to offset costs we all share.”