Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Volunteers come together to ‘Just Serve’ in remembrance of 9/11

Sep 15, 2023 09:31AM ● By Becky Ginos
Even little volunteers helped clear branches and other debris at Tolman Park in Bountiful on the Day of Service held last Saturday to commemorate 9/11. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

Even little volunteers helped clear branches and other debris at Tolman Park in Bountiful on the Day of Service held last Saturday to commemorate 9/11. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

BOUNTIFUL—Neighbors throughout the county came together last Saturday for a “Day of Service” as a way to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11. Volunteers cleared up garbage, painted over graffiti and planted trees. Others donated food to the pantry. 

“A few years ago, the city created a committee to organize projects citywide,” said Bountiful City Manager Gary Hill. “It was divided into 10 emergency districts with representatives from faith groups, churches, etc. There were 10 to 12 people who would get together in the early years and decide on projects everybody could take part in.”

The city worked with the fire district to organize neighborhoods to take down dead firewood, brush and other fuels that could have wild land fire potential, he said. “It’s a great project. Hundreds of volunteers come out and they get training from the fire district.”

Volunteers chat and clean up Legacy Trail at Parrish Lane. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

Volunteers cut wood that gets hauled out to the landfill, said Hill. “We don’t charge that day. It goes through the process of chipping. We received a federal grant that pays for the chipping. It’s a great way to reduce the fire risk in Bountiful. It’s a great effort that takes a lot of people.”

They also collected food to donate to the food pantry, he said. “The districts were broken up citywide to get bags and fliers on every door the week before the food drive. Then they would organize and pick up the food. It’s like the Scouting for Food we used to do. Now this has taken its place. Volunteers gathered about 3,500 pounds of food on the day of service.”

Saint Olaf is part of the organizing committee and other churches as well, he said. “It’s really great and a fun opportunity. This is one of my favorite things I get to do.”

The committee meets months before the project and organizes people, said Hill. “Each district spearheads the organization of their district. A lot went on that we’re not even aware of in the city.”

Young and old volunteers load tree trimmings around the baseball field at Tolman Park. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

Bountiful is amazing, he said. “It’s unique. People come out of the woodwork to serve. It’s touching. People are so willing to give of their time just to help. It’s less about the work getting done as it is getting to know your neighbors and building a sense of community and friendship.” 

“We’ve been working for a couple of months on projects the public could do,” said Woods Cross Public Works Director, Sam Christiansen. “Volunteers were spread throughout the city. We planted 20 trees at Mills Park. Others helped with playground soft fall. It’s bark that is specially meant for playgrounds. We delivered it and volunteers spread it out.”

Some residents painted over graffiti on the Bamburger bridge, he said. “They also picked up garbage at all of the parks, on Legacy and the 2600 South on and off ramps.”

Christiansen said they met with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Presidents to arrange for garbage bins to be dropped off. “It helped in cleaning up to beautify the city. Residents take pride in it. They got a lot of stuff done that my guys can’t get done.”

They also helped put together hygiene kits for the Teen Center at Woods Cross High School. “That’s the great thing about Woods Cross and other cities in the county,” Christiansen said. “When we need people they’re always willing to help their neighbors. It’s part of the culture of living in the area.”

The day of service went really smoothly, he said. “I don’t want to see 9/11 turned into something commercial. We want to give back to the community to honor those who lost their lives or loved ones that day.”