Extreme rakeover

While Oak Harbor High School students are out of school enjoying their summer break, the weeds have been growing in various nooks and crannies throughout the campus.

Some residents, however, are planning to change that when they descend on the high school next week to spruce up school grounds.

Volunteers will grab their weed whackers, shears and other garden implements to remove the unwanted plants from the grounds.

“We’re trying to make a real push in the community to make the high school look real nice,” said Bob Smithson, athletic director for the Oak Harbor School District.

He added the community support provides a big help for the four employees who are responsible for 200 acres of grounds around all school district buildings.

“We’re just trying to give them a jump start on this,” Smithson said.

In the weeks leading up to the “Extreme Rakeover,” people involved with the project have been rounding up volunteers and acquiring the tools and materials.

Approximately 50 people have signed up. Local businesses have donated tools and such material as beauty bark to the Rakeover effort. The makeover takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteers will dig up bushes, remove weeks, lay down bark, cut tall grass in wooded areas and spray wash sidewalks.

Even though the cleanup lasts six hours, volunteers can commit whatever time they have available on Saturday. They can take a break from the work and enjoy a hot dog lunch.

Lynn Goebel, who is helping organizing the event, said she got the idea for the makeover when she enrolled her son, Gregory, at the high school and saw the condition of the school grounds first hand.

Volunteers will divide up into different teams and concentrate on a specific area of the high school.

Smithson said the cleanup project is an attempt to change the feelings the community has about the campus.

He also encourages high school students to participate in the high school cleanup. He hopes that more students will take more pride in the school environment. High school students participating in the Rakeover can earn community service hours, which is a requirement for graduation.

For more information about the Extreme Rakeover, contact Smithson at 279-5411 or Goebel at 240-0530.

“Everyone I talk to wants to help,” Goebel said. “It’s about community pride, sprucing up our school grounds to welcome students and new families to the district.”

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