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Athens Beautification Day ventures beyond city limits

Dairy Barn, The Ridges, bike path and Strouds Run included in ninth annual event

More than 1,000 Ohio University students and Athens residents are expected to participate in the ninth annual Athens Beautification Day on April 14.

Melinda Ruberg, Off-Campus Life Commissioner for Student Senate and event coordinator for Athens Beautification Day, said this year’s event focuses on including all Athens residents, not just the Ohio University community.

“We’ve asked residents and students alike to come together to give back to the city and show the pride we all have in this unique small town,” said Ruberg.

New partnerships with the Ohio Department of Transportation, Wayne National Forest and Keep America Beautiful are taking the event beyond the Athens city limits, including providing more food and water and transportation to project locations for volunteers.

Projects include cleanup, painting, landscaping, graffiti removal and others. On-campus buildings and greens, Court Street, The Ridges, the Dairy Barn, the bike path and Strouds Run are just a few of the locations where projects will take place.

Check-in begins at noon at Scripps Amphitheater. A pep rally beginning at 12:30 p.m. will feature speeches from President Roderick McDavis, First Lady Deborah McDavis, Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl and Vice President of Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi. From there, volunteer groups will break off into different projects at various locations all over the city. Participants will meet back at Scripps for a lunch provided by Kiser’s BBQ and a live performance by local musician Cory Cox around 2:30 p.m.

Lombardi said Athens Beautification Day is the perfect opportunity for students and residents to give back to the community.

“OHIO students are an important aspect of the vibrancy of Athens and this is a great opportunity for them to make a difference,” said Lombardi. “They should expect lots of work, but great teamwork and fun too!”

Anyone interested in participating can register themselves and groups for free on the Athens Beautification Day EventBrite website: http://athensbday2013.eventbrite.com