Church members unite to clean up Petersburg’s Poplar Lawn Park

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- At Poplar Lawn Park in Petersburg, hundreds of volunteers converged on the grounds Saturday morning to breathe new life into the area.

"When you look and see the areas that may be hurting, that may have needs… we just felt like this is one of the places that had the greatest need,” said Wes Rose, Pastor at The Heights Baptist Church.

Over the years, the park has been neglected due to lack of city funding.

“This is what community is,” said Petersburg City manager Aretha Ferrell-Benavides. “I think this is the definition of community.”

Despite a lack of funding, members of The Heights Baptist Church teamed up with Mount Olivet Baptist Church for a community-wide clean up.

Volunteers did everything from raking leaves, to cutting grass, to trimming trees and digging trenches and picking up trash.

Pastor Wes Rose led the charge to get it done.

"This park at one time was essential not only for the whole community down here in the tri-cities,” said Rose. “It as great back in its day.”

Volunteers are working shoulder to shoulder to make a difference.

“We are all brothers in sisters in Christ. And we share in many projects,” said Reverend Jameson McLaughlin, Asst. Pastor at Mount Olivet Baptist church.

Rev. McLaughlin told CBS 6 that volunteers ran across a few things in the park that haven’t been seen in years.

“We’ve seen some springs that had been covered, which was all mud at one point. We see the actual foundation. We’re hoping the water can flow better and the grass will grow greener,” said Rev. McLaughlin.

It’s a labor of love that will benefit everyone.

"It's an asset. It's a resource to the community. So, if we help and restore and beautify this park, we believe the possibilities are endless,” said McLaughlin.

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