KEYSER — The whir of a leaf blower filled the air around Keyser’s North End Playground Monday morning, as residents and staff members from the Cornell Street Group Home performed their daily cleanup at the park.

Ever since adopting the playground as their special community service project a year ago, the residents and staff members have spent countless hours sprucing up the area, painting the picnic tables, pavilion and play equipment, and even doing minor repairs as needed.

According to staff member Jean Lucas, they travel to the playground to pick up trash and do general cleanup almost daily, as weather and their schedules permit.

“Future plans include installing a sandbox and swings,” she said, adding that area children also have asked for a sliding board.

Keyser City Councilman Marq Rice, who has been working with the volunteers to bring the playground back from years of misuse and vandalism, said the city plans to put in volleyball courts in the near future.

“The men working at the city garage have been very helpful in picking up and delivering supplies for us to do this work,” Lucas said.

Area businesses have also pitched in by donating many of the materials used in the cleanup effort.

“Ace Hardware has donated paint, brushes, rollers and paint pans,” Lucas said.

“The area neighbors have also been both generous and courteous to us. They have given us cool drinks and snacks when we were working,” she said.

Lucas said their visits to the playground have not all consisted of work, however.

“We frequently use the pavilion at the park to sit and have morning snacks or eat lunch,” she said.

In celebration of the results of their hard work, the members of the group home are joining with Mount Zion Church of Knobley Road to host a block party at the playground on June 3.

“We’re doing it as a service to the community,” Lucas told the Keyser City Council during a recent meeting.

Lucas said the party will feature free food and drinks, live music, face painting, basketball, balloons, a clown and games, along with other costumed characters who are scheduled to attend.

“We’re looking forward to having a successful turnout. We hope everyone can join us for a fun day at the park,” she said.

The party is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. The rain date will be June 10.

Councilwoman Sally Burnside praised the residents and staff for all they’ve done at the playground.

“They do a rally good job over there, and we’re really proud of them,” she said.

The block party will be open to the public.

Liz Beavers can be reached at

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