New Castle News

October 29, 2012

Photo Gallery, Story: New Visions tackles Gaston Park

Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Members of New Visions for Lawrence County’s clean and green team gathered Saturday to clean up New Castle’s Gaston Park.

Despite a steady rain, about 40 volunteers gathered at the park on the city’s East Side to participate in the group’s first organized event.

New Visions for Lawrence County is a group of community residents and leaders dedicated to a revitalized New Castle and Lawrence County.

Melissa Barnes, leader of the clean and green group, provided doughnuts and coffee for volunteers.

The group gathered at 9:30 a.m. and worked until about noon. Goals for the day included removing trash and litter from the park, as well as larger branches that had fallen throughout the area.

Jerry Zona, executive director of Tri-County CleanWays, directed volunteers and answered questions. He cautioned the group, telling them to be aware of any sharp items or needles that might be hidden under the leaves.

Zona, who worked with Barnes to organize the cleanup, was joined by a handful of CleanWays members from Lawrence County.

Mary Burris, clean and green team member and a landscape architect, worked with a few of the volunteers to plant 100 daffodil bulbs. Burris had visited the park earlier to determine the best area for the flowers to grow.

At the conclusion of the morning’s work, volunteers were treated to pizza at Pizza Joe’s on Croton Avenue.

Team members are hoping Saturday’s effort was only the first of many more to come.

Another cleanup at the park is planned in the spring to target a larger dump site discovered Saturday and to remove litter not visible under the blanket of fallen leaves.

“We are interested in community gardens, painting fire hydrants,” Barnes pointed out, adding the group hopes to lend a hand to the city’s public works crews prior to the summer festivals.

The group meets regularly to discuss plans for upcoming projects. Those wishing to get involved may visit the website at