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Volunteers give Kingston a spring cleaning

Lenore Lynch trims an unruly plant Wednesday outside the Kingston Community Center.  - Tad Sooter/Staff Photo
Lenore Lynch trims an unruly plant Wednesday outside the Kingston Community Center.
— image credit: Tad Sooter/Staff Photo

KINGSTON — Kitsap's Lutheran church congregations have organized service missions in some far-flung places. Their mission on Wednesday didn't even require a ferry ride. A group of children and parents from Lutheran churches across the county met with volunteers in Kingston this week for a town cleanup.

"It's cheaper, it's closer to home and we get to go home to our beds at night," said Paul Davis, director of faith formation at First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo.

It's also a chance for kids to learn that community service can happen anywhere.

"I like doing this because it helps Kingston," said 7-year-old Jadon Sansgaard of Silverdale, who was patrolling the Village Green Park lawn for garbage.

The children and teens are devoting much of their spring break week to volunteering around Kingston.

"It's nice to be doing something," said Jakob Ronning, 14, as he gathered leaves on the tennis courts with 15-year-old Karissa Parypa.

"Yeah," Karissa added, "It's better than sitting on my bed playing Nintendo."

The volunteers gathered trash, weeded flower beds, mowed lawns and raked leaves. Many were members of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce and veterans of town cleanups, which are held three times each year. Others had their own motivation.

Les Poole walks the same stretch of West Kingston Road each day, where overgrown blackberry bushes trip up passersby. Poole exacted his revenge Wednesday, hacking back vines with a pair of pruners.

"Getting wrapped up in a blackberry bush is a pain," he said. "This is payback."

Up the hill at the Community Center, Helen Humes, Ann Wetter, Priscilla Boughton and Lenore Lynch pulled weeds from a flower bed and enjoyed some conversation.

"Our mouths are working almost as hard as our bodies are," Wetter said.

Lynch, a relative newcomer to Kingston, said volunteering is a good way to meet people and keep the town looking sharp.

"I just want our community to look inviting," Lynch said. "And I love to be outside."

The next town cleanup will probably be in June. Organizer Kris Libby said she was pleased with the number of volunteers who turned out for the Wednesday workday, despite the threat of rain.

"This is a fantastic crowd," she said.

Staff photos by Tad Sooter

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