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Spring cleaning

Cambria Heights students give back to community

Cambria Heights High School juniors (from left) Kendall Conrad, Kadence Della Valle and Maddie Bender, tighten one of the volleyball nets at Patton Recreation Park on Tuesday. Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski

PATTON — With the Patton Park and Pool ready to open back up in May, borough employees received a hefty boost toward getting the park cleaned and ready to go.

More than 50 students from the Cambria Heights High School gave back to their community Tuesday.

“We’re giving back to the community and helping prepare the park for people to use this summer,” 12th grader Jimmy Ertter said. “We’re lucky to have this park, and we want to keep it clean.”

Students spent the day raking leaves, hauling benches, lining baseball fields, setting up swings and completing other projects in the park.

Cambria Heights gifted teacher Michelle Schirf said students have helped set up the park for nearly 10 years, and the project originally began as a way for her students to gain a sense of community service.

Cambria Heights High School seniors (from left) Skylar Kovak, Amelia Mozina and Emma Stockley wrap up a tarp filled with leaves at Patton Park on Tuesday morning. Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski

The project eventually grew, and the school’s National Honor Society students are now involved, too.

“I want the kids to have pride in the community they live in and take care of it,” Schirf said.

“We’re blessed to have this beautiful park, and we just want to keep it nice and keep it going,” Schirf said.

Richard Miller, who is a retired borough employee and the park supervisor, said he looks forward to the annual cleanup project.

Without the help of the students, Miller said it would have taken him “several weeks” to get the park in working order.

“They’re a great, great help,” Miller said. “It’s always a fun day when the students come out to help.”

Cambria Heights 11th grade student Lyndsey Kitchen said the Patton Park and Pool is a popular place for residents in the summer, and many of the seniors working at the park will hold their graduation parties there later this year.

“Everyone can come here to enjoy their summer,” Kitchen said. “There’s not very much around here for people to do, and it’s great for people to have a park like this to spend their time.”

Mirror Staff Writer Calem Illig is at 814-946-7535.

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