The Elk Meadow 4-H members, ages 5-18, saw the need to do community service at their village parks. The club has 43 members with numerous parent volunteers.
In May 2003, flowers were planted at The Mound Hill Park. The community’s response was overwhelming. The Mound Hill Park has been a part of the community since 1938 and has an observation tower on it. It is visited not only by the local people, but also people traveling on Interstate 94 and Intrastate Highway 29. The flowers were not only selected and planted by the youth, but were watered and weeded throughout the summer and fall. Tulip bulbs were planted in the fall. The 4-H also donated money to help replace the flag pole at this park.
Several community members approached the 4-H and asked if more improvements could be done. Youth and parents met with the village board and public works director to discuss plans. It was decided to make improvements not only at The Mound Hill Park, but also at The Elk Mound Village Park. Both parks were widely used by the community. The village park is used by softball and soccer teams, family and school reunions, receptions, and summer church services. The youth did the planning and implementing with the help of parent volunteers.
On June 5th, 2004, tow sugar maple trees were planted, flowers planted, a park bench constructed, a youth-made birdhouse was mounted on a tree and the picnic table and outdoor grill were scraped of old paint at The Mound Hill Park. It was raining, but all were determined and enthusiastic to see the plan through. On June 6th, The Elk Mound Village Park sign was re-stained and 13 shrubs were planted. The picnic table and grill were re-painted at The Mound Hill Park. The 4-H was able to fund $1200, which was one-half the cost of retaining wall around the flag pole at The Mound Hill Park. The wall needed to be built by a professional and was completed on June 22nd. The flowers, trees, and shrubs have been weeded and watered throughout the summer and fall. Fund-raisers as well as donations by area businesses made it all happen.
The impact and response was a great success. The village board was especially please with the communities response and verbalization of the beautification of the parks. The 4-H plans to continue to work with the village board and public works director. The 4-H would like to trim down overgrown grass and put in rock and wild flowers, as well as landscape a hillside.
The youth are very proud of their work and have great pride in their community. This small community has many big hearts and helping hands.