Flemington honors 6-year-old for cleaning up Grove Community Park

A junior ranger

Six-year-old Wesley Johnson proudly holds the certificate naming him junior ranger in front of his favorite slide at Grove Community Park. Flemington officials bestowed the honor on the young man after he cleaned the park on Earth Day. LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS

FLEMINGTON — The passion of one little boy has helped keep Grove Community Park in Flemington nice and clean.

Six-year-old Wesley Johnson and his family — mother Carleigh, father Jeremy and little sister Aubreigh — spent Earth Day picking up trash and cleaning up the park in Flemington.

“I wanted to do something for Earth Day,” Wesley said, shuffling with excitement as he met with borough officials on Friday afternoon.

Carleigh said her son chose the park because they live close by and visit it often. In fact, Wesley is such a frequent visitor that he has his favorite slide. “The big metal slide,” he shouted.

Wesley answered with an exuberant “yes!” when asked if he’d like to do more projects like this in the future.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Wesley Johnson is pictured with his family. From left are his father Jeremy, little sister Aubreigh and mother Carleigh.

“It was all his idea,” Carleigh said proudly.

Wesley received help from his family cleaning up the park, although he said his little sister mostly wanted to play.

Albert “Hap” Hill and Traci Kuntz, members of the borough’s Recreation Committee, as well as councilmembers David Grimm and Jo LaRoque and Mayor Gary Durkin honored the youngster with a certificate Friday at the park.

“This certifies that Wesley Johnson has volunteered his time to clean his park for Earth Day 2021 and is granted the title of Junior Ranger,” it reads.

Wesley was practically bouncing on his feet as Hill, who also serves as council president, and Councilwoman Kuntz presented the certificate to him at his favorite park.

“It was nice, when (borough secretary) Charity (Walizer-Etters) showed us a picture of the young man. And it didn’t take long for us to decide we wanted to do something for him,” Hill said. “I think it’s really nice.”

Kuntz is glad children as young as Wesley are interested in public service.

“It’s nice for youth to show interest in taking part in keeping our parks clean. It’s nice for them to recognize the importance of community service,” she said.

Walizer-Etters said Wesley will receive a special patch but it hadn’t arrived by the presentation.

After receiving his certificate, the newly appointed junior ranger was off to enjoy the playground he helped keep clean with his little sister.


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