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Renovo area students learn the importance of community involvement, beautify Erie Avenue

KEVIN RAUCH/FOR THE EXPRESS Gabriel and Audrey Burger finished digging out a hole before planting a perennial. The two spent Wednesday morning with Renovo Mayor Gene Bruno helping to make Erie Avenue look its best over the summer months.

RENOVO — As school was winding down and most kids couldn’t wait for summer break, a few teachers at Renovo Elementary and Bucktail Middle School realized that some students were willing to learn of volunteerism and pride in their community.

Following the discussion, an email was sent out to Renovo council, explaining that the students, although young, were more than willing to spend some time learning about the benefits of volunteering over the summer months.

Renovo Mayor Gene Bruno knew immediately that he had the perfect job for them.

Several months ago, Bruno noticed the landscaping on the “islands” of the Erie Avenue sidewalks had become overgrown and unkempt. Bruno had already decided on making the spaces between the sidewalks and the avenue a pet project of his to help give the area a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing look.

The offer of the student’s help was not only appreciated but jumped upon by Bruno. After weeks of prep work he had the students take to Erie Avenue to plant perennials along the street.

KEVIN RAUCH/FOR THE EXPRESS Slade Thompson and Nolan Anthony get more topsoil to finish their planting along the 300 block of Erie Avenue.

Along with their parents, the youngsters met with Bruno to put the finishing touches on digging the holes out before planting and watering the flowers along six blocks, concentrating on areas of vacant buildings and lots.

The sun started getting warm and, although the adults started sweating easily, every student volunteering was unaffected.

They constantly asked for more work. With smiles on their faces, they were not only happy to have the experience of helping but enjoyed that they could see first-hand the difference that their planting was making.

“The teachers explained to me that their focus was to bring families together and working in the community, they value volunteering, so this was something that they jumped on,” Bruno explained.

In fact, both the Renovo Mayor continuously praised the kids’ efforts as the teachers described the project as being exactly what they were working for. The fact that they were making Erie Avenue more attractive for the people of Renovo almost became a byproduct of a flawless working relationship led by kids who wanted to get out and make their community a better place.

“I want to thank the teachers for introducing the kids to giving back to the community, these teachers are doing a wealth of good here,” Bruno said, summing things up.

Tony’s Hardware and the Service Garage covered the costs of the materials for the work along Erie Avenue. Bruno added that Greg Scere, Shawn Wadsworth, Maria Ransom and the borough crew all aided in the efforts.

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