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Volunteers celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up St. Helena’s public spaces

Earth Day clean-up in St. Helena

Volunteers Joann Patton and Donna Hardy prepare a picnic table for painting near the Crane Park bocce courts.

St. Helena’s annual park and community clean-up is here, just in time for Earth Day on Thursday.

Starting Monday and continuing into Thursday, volunteers under the supervision of city staff are painting picnic tables, picking up litter, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, and beautifying St. Helena’s public spaces.

On Tuesday morning a small crew gathered at Crane Park to prepare picnic tables for painting, laying the groundwork for a bigger team of volunteers on Wednesday and Thursday.

One of Tuesday’s volunteers was Donna Hardy, who knows a thing or two about beautification. She’s been picking up trash during regular walks around town for over a decade.

“I love this little town,” she said. “If it’s kept up and looking nice, people will respect it and not throw things on the ground.”

Hardy enlisted the help of Joann Patton, who splits her time between St. Helena and Michigan and works with Hardy to collect recyclables to benefit Rianda House. On Tuesday they wielded wire brushes and scrapers to prep picnic tables near the bocce courts.

“If we want things to stay nice, we have to pitch in,” Patton said. “It can’t always be done for us.”

Members of service clubs also felt inclined to help.

“Part of being in the community is giving back,” said Jan Darter, who would be joined on Thursday by fellow members of the St. Helena Kiwanis Club. “I just like to contribute.”

St. Helena’s 2020 Earth Day cleanup was canceled due to COVID-19. With volunteers fully vaccinated and tennis players enjoying the nearby courts, this week’s event had a relaxed, pre-pandemic feel.

“This is almost like putting life back to normal again,” Hardy said.

The last day of work is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 22.

Cycle 4 Sight is a charity bike ride through the Napa Valley. This year's event was held on April 17.

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You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or

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