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Willmar Municipal Utilities volunteers put their energies toward a cleaner Robbins Island

In a little over an hour's time, Willmar Municipal Utilities workers and a few recruited family members cleaned up a winter's worth of litter from the grounds of the regional park.

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Piece by piece, volunteers with the Willmar Municipal Utilities picked up litter on the grounds of Robbins Island Regional Park on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Brian Hoover, right, collects a piece of litter on the beach as Aaron Nelson, left, and his son Jake follow with a garbage bag to collect it. Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — A winter's worth of litter disappeared from the grounds of the Robbins Island Regional Park in Willmar in a little over an hour on Thursday.

Employees of the Willmar Municipal Utilities , with help from a few family members, descended on the park Thursday with grabbers and gloves to pick it up. Like spring robins on the hunt, they spread out across the park and filled 10 garbage bags with the litter they collected.

"Better lucky than good," laughed Christopher Radel, safety and energy outreach coordinator with Willmar Municipal Utilities . Radel confessed that he had scheduled the cleanup April 22 not realizing it also happened to be Earth Day. The timing was more than appropriate, and so was the weather with sunshine and the first 60-degree warmth seen in a while.

The workers and family members they recruited all came as volunteers after work hours Thursday. Radel said the idea of taking on the litter was done as a community outreach project by Willmar Municipal Utilities and employees. He said the city's park staff readily endorsed the idea.

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The volunteers were disappointed by the amount of litter they found, but no doubt pleased by the much improved appearance their work made possible.

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