Volunteers work to improve Rotary Park for homeless citizens

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 4/27/2013 8:56 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- About a hundred volunteers are working to improve Rotary Park - the former site of tent city - in what they call a one-day extreme makeover.

Rotary Park is designed to be a safe place for people to come and relax during the day while using community assistance programs across the street.

"This used to be tent city and it certainly was the blight of Reno," said Sue Sadler, Reno Rotary Day of Work chair. "This is a place people try and forget exists."

But Sadler said the Reno Rotary is trying to change that perception and make this a positive place for people facing homelessness.

"We looked to build a park that's conducive to getting back on your feet," Sadler said. 

Reno Mayor Bob Cashell came down to say thank you to the Rotary for their hard work.

"It's beautiful," Cashell said. "I love what they're doing."

Rotary Park features plants, areas to sit in the shade, and cubbies to put belongings. The volunteers were digging, building and planting to get it all ready to go.

They even had some help from the very people who will be using the park.

"That's why they're doing this is to give us some place safe to hang out, but also use the facilities that are right there," Kristina said.

Kristina is six months pregnant. She's volunteering at Rotary Park adding some gardens to the area. She uses several services offered just across the parking lot that are helping her get back on her feet. 

"What they can't give you, you have to give yourself and that's your own drive and your own ambition," Kristina said.

She said she is proud to help with this project and hopes people make the most of it.

"I hope it inspires them to be driven like I am and use the facilities for what they're worth," Kristina said.

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