Downtown Clean-up: A Beautiful Thing


Bailey Lyons greets volunteers for the downtown clean-up in front of her Lyons Realty Group office on East Wall. Submitted photo.
The Fort Scott community came out in large numbers for the common good this year, with approximately 160 volunteers to help with the downtown cleanup. The day was a perfect, sunny April day in Kansas, with temps in the upper 60s.
“The community morale and camaraderie among those who have been paired to work together is always wonderful to see,” Bailey Lyons,  of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Downtown Committee said.  “People working towards a common good is a beautiful thing!”
Some of the volunteers are waiting for instructions. Submitted photo.
Lyons said that two months planning went into pulling off so many projects, with so many volunteers, all in one day.
The day of the clean-up is exhausting,  rewarding and humbling at the same time, she said. “Everyone who volunteers has a different background and a different reason for being there, but they have one thing in common – a love for our community, and that always shines through on the day of the event.”
A team of volunteers cleaning the street. Submitted photo.
Workers teamed up to get debris and trash off the streets and out of the alleys. Submitted photos.


A group of Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene Youth, some city workers, and a representative from Walmart with her small daughter weeded the parking lot on National Avenue in the back of the Fort Scott Lofts Apartment buildings.

She said approximately 90 community members- individuals, families, businesses, and organizations- and 70 students from area schools volunteered.

Volunteers clean Main Street. Submitted photos.
“This year brought out the largest number of community volunteers of the clean-up events so far, with representatives from many local businesses, and organizations such as Southwind Extension District 4H Clubs, Fort Scott Nazarene Youth, Pride Club, Kiwanis, Bourbon County Garden Club, and Good Neighbor Action Team. The volunteers also included students from USD-234, USD-235, Fort Scott Community College, and St. Martin’s Academy,” she said. My One Stop provided the t-shirts for the event.
Judy and Jerry Witt paint benches with a group at Skubitz Plaza. Submitted photo.
One driving down Main Street, National Avenue, Scott Avenue, Skubitz Plaza, and other downtown locations,  could see people painting light poles, trash cans, picnic tables, and benches.
Clean-up work at Heritage Park at First and Main Street. Submitted photo.
There were clean-up teams at Skubitz Plaza, Heritage Park, The Splash Pad, the Gathering Square, the Chamber Visitor Center, the parking lot on National, and other downtown areas with people weeding, planting,  and mulching.
Neice Products crafted the new sign at the just-finished Pavilion on North National Avenue, and Ron Hurd Constriction installed it.. Submitted photo.

“There were new signs put up for the Gathering Square Pavilion and Farmer’s Market,” she said.

A new sign at the Gathering Square on North National Avenue. Submitted photo.

She said this year there was a large focus on street and alley clean-up, as well.


Volunteers paint a light pole on Main Street. Submitted. photo.

With the addition of the new mural across from the Chamber Office at 231 E. Wall, six downtown murals were completed during the last three years’ clean-up day efforts, she said.

The new mural was painted by from left: Kadra Nevitt, Hayden Travis, Bre Eden, Katie Hueston and Kate Freeman.


Bourbon County Garden Club members oversaw and worked with other volunteers to plant new flowers around the downtown area. Submitted photo.
“This was the third clean-up that the Downtown Committee has put on, and they have grown more each year,” Lyons said. “To date, the cleanups have brought together approximately 450 volunteers who volunteered about 1,350 working hours.”
” I think people have seen that many hands make light work, and it’s an opportunity to be involved in something positive, and people have jumped at the chance to help make a difference,”  she said.
Volunteers clean up streets during the event. Submitted photo.
“As a spin-off of this event, I now regularly have volunteer groups reach out asking if I can pair them with a project that could use some extra hands,” Lyons said. “The clean-ups have put on display a variety of different groups that do good in our community, many projects that need continued efforts throughout the year, and a spirit of volunteerism. These three clean-up days have turned into much more than just a few hours on 3 singular days.”
Craig Campbell, Cathy Bishop, Bailey Lyons, Lindsay Madison, and John Crain were part of the committee facilitating the downtown clean-up. Not pictured is Kate Freeman and Katie Hueston who was still working on the mural.  Submitted photo.
The downtown clean-up committee is comprised of Lyons,
John Crain, Cathy Bishop, Katie Hueston, Kate Freeman, Craig Campbell, and Lindsay Madison. It is led by the Chamber’s Downtown Division and Good Neighbor Action Team.
Lyons said the committee wants to express sincere gratitude to all the volunteers, businesses, and organizations that make this annual event possible.
For the past two years, a grant from the Elks Lodge primarily funds the clean-up, and one from the Good Neighbor Action Team. They also received a donation from the Bourbon County Arts Council to pay for the mural costs.
Volunteers were fed after the clean-up at the new Pavilion on North National Ave. Submitted photo.
The meal that was served to the volunteers at the conclusion of the event was a combined effort from some downtown restaurants Brickstreet BBQ, Sharky’s, Holmtown, Papa Don’s, and Common Ground – the hungry volunteers enjoyed the food after their hard work!” she said.

One thought on “Downtown Clean-up: A Beautiful Thing”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *