Volunteers clean fairgrounds


Sixty-eight volunteers participated in an event to paint and upgrade the grandstands at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds last Friday evening. This activity was coordinated by Keep Miles City Beautiful.

Through Keep America Beautiful, Anheuser Busch, in its DoGood.HaveFun project, donated to local affiliates in each of the nation’s 50 states for a project to enhance an area where Bud Light is consumed. In Miles City, 13 projects at the fairground’s grandstands were divided up for completion by volunteers 21 years of age or older. From 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday the volunteers painted, fixed planters and hung signs at the grandstands, and from 7:30 to 9 p.m., they gathered for burgers and beverages.

“Volunteers from Sleep Inn, First Interstate Bank, Walmart, Kiwanis, Rotary, the Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program, Eastern Montana Industries, Pine Hills School and many individuals made up the group of participants,” said Janelle Grant, director of Keep Miles City Beautiful. “Billings Clinic provided the water and soft drinks.”

Grant added that Sue Smith of Keep America Beautiful attended the Friday evening event. Smith also was at the Keep Miles City Beautiful booth at the Miles City Expo on Saturday at the fairgrounds. Grant said Smith originally came to Miles City in 2010 during the River Awareness Summit held at Miles Community College. She added that Smith was an inspiration for local residents to organize Keep Miles City Beautiful and join Keep America Beautiful.

“Keep America Beautiful is very supportive of their affiliates,” said Grant.

Keep Miles City Beautiful also will be sponsoring a Trash Walk from May 1 to 10 to remove trash from local streets. Throughout the event, walkers are encouraged to take along trash bags and pick up garbage as they take their daily walks around the community.

After they finish their trash collecting activities, walkers are asked to contact KMCB and report the size and amount of bags of trash they collected and the locations of the areas they cleaned.

Reports may be made by emailing: jg@keepmcbeautiful.com; text: 406-951-1129; calling 406-951-1129 with a message or leaving a private message on the Keep Miles City Beautiful Facebook page.

Several areas in Miles City are Adopt-a-Spot and Adopt-a-Highway sites. These are maintained three times a year.

Interested volunteers can check out the Keep Miles City Beautiful Facebook page or the Web site at: www.keepmcbeautiful.com for daily updates between May 1 and 10.

Grant also appeared before the Miles City Council recently to report on Keep Miles City Beautiful projects.

Grant told the council that the group was organizing the city clean-up on May 9-10 (More details on the clean-up will appear in a later edition).

The group already has projects going and will until the Bucking Horse Sale (May 16-18).

Mayor Butch Grenz applauded the work they do and thought it must be a thankless job with debris thrown everywhere.

“Actually, it’s not a thankless job. It’s pretty gratifying to see the people come out and volunteer to do things,” Grant said, adding that she enjoys seeing the participation of the community and seeing the results.

She said last year they had 200 people volunteer and took about 12,000 pounds to the dump through different projects.

This year they are promoting a Trash Walk.

They were chosen by Anheuser-Busch from Montana for a $5,000 grant to improve a place where Bud Light is consumed, so they purchased some nice benches for the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds and coordinated some improvements there with volunteer support, she said.

Jeff Shaw cooked for the Friday night group, and Anheuser-Busch and Billings Clinic Miles City donated beverages.