About 85 volunteers and Cowlitz AmeriCorps workers hauled away trash, pulled weeds, trimmed grass and scrubbed away graffiti in South Kelso on Monday to commemorate Martin Luther King Day.

The workers gathered at Lads and Lassies Park, located at Eighth Avenue and Elm Street, and cleaned playground equipment, raked bark, poured fresh gravel and did other tasks. From there they spread into the Wallace Elementary School playground and into the neighborhood’s alleys, where they hauled away more trash and slashed blackberry bushes.

‘It went great,’ said Teresa Wentworth, 42, a Cowlitz Americorps Network worker who helped organize the cleanup.

She said neighbors with homes facing the alleys were especially appreciative of the volunteers’ work. One family, she said, was especially thankful, because they had cleaned up their yard, but didn’t have the money to haul the debris to the dump. The volunteers hauled it all away.

Tony Lystra covers Kelso city government, Cowlitz County government and environmental issues for The Daily News. Reach him at 360-575-6210 or tlystra@tdn.com

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