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Fourth annual graffiti cleanup giving old facility a new flair

For the fourth annual graffiti cleanup, the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre has volunteered for something special. With the help of Art Soul Life Creative Studio, Home Depot and the City’s Family and Community Support Services, the former water treatment plant will be given a new, creative flair.

The structure north of 50 street and 57 avenue has sat dormant for a number of years. It’s collected many pieces of graffiti making it the perfect target for graffiti cleanup. Patrick Lancaster, manager of social programs and services for Lloydminster, says that this year’s cleanup will be a bit different than previous years.

“To make things a bit more interesting this year, as it is our fourth year, Art Soul Life has offered to help the kids create a design. The kids have had some input, and will be unveiling that at the end of the program,” says Lancaster.

Today was only the first day for graffiti removal. Thursday, July 18, August 1 and August 14 are all going to be utilized for covering the graffiti with a fresh coat of paint, before re-painting it. Lancaster says the project is receiving a great reaction from local youth.

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“It’s absolutely amazing. The energy, and the enthusiasm that the kids bring to the program, and to see them take ownership of the community and do something to make things better for everyone.”

Sixteen-year-old Corbin Wetsch has been taking part in the cleanup for three years. He helps lead and mentor the youth at the centre towards volunteer initiatives like this one. Wetsch is happy to help serve the community and thinks it reflects well on the city as a whole.

“It gives back to the community, and it shows people can trust the city, and it shows the youth centre is a great place to get kids off the street as well,” says Wetsch.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers also picked up a brush to help coat the old water treatment plant. He was very happy to see the youth get engaged in helping clean up the community and was thankful for everyone who could make it possible.

“This is terrific. It’s great to see the kids come out (as) volunteers, Home Depot supply the materials and be here to supply the paint. It’s a great opportunity spruce up the old water treatment plant,” says Aalbers.

Youth volunteers can sign up by calling the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre at (306) 825-3113. Adult volunteers may sign up by contacting FCSS at (780) 875-6184 Ext. 2919 or emailing [email protected]. The time of the mural unveiling will be announced later but is set for Friday, August 23. The City says all residents are encouraged to remove graffiti on their property as soon as they see it.

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