(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— It's going to take some time to clean up all of the debris left behind from last month's flooding at Heritage Park.
"Now that we got all the water off the fields, we're just trying to get debris cleaned up," said Jannie Castanada, St. Joseph Parks and Recreation and Program coordinator said. "Once we get some clean up done, we can get some equipment on the fields to get them playable."
Just a few weeks ago, the fields were completely underwater with water measuring several feet in the low-lying areas and about 40 inches of water at the highest point of the facility.
"It could have been a lot worse," Castanada said. "We got lucky and the water went down quick."
On Friday, city crews received some help cleaning up Heritage Park from volunteers from the Youth Alliance and a fraternity at Missouri Western State University.
For the grade-school volunteers, they volunteered on a day when they didn't have to be at school.
"If you're not helping your environment, what's the point of even having it," said Hunter Huff, St. Joseph Christian seventh-grader said. "If you're not helping it, it will just get worse and worse.
Volunteers scraped sidewalks, raked leaves, and debris, while also cleaning fences. All of it to help get the community's ball fields back in playing condition.
"Just trying to get the community involved and show them what the flood really did to the community," Castanada said. "While also showing them that they can make a difference and help clean it up.
Parks department officials don't know when the fields will be ready for games, but they're taking the entire process day by day.
"Just depends on how mother nature works and if we can get everything cleaned up and get things going as soon as possible," Castanada said.
The City of St. Joseph plans to have more clean-up days for volunteers interested in helping out at Heritage Park.
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