GARY | The city’s parks got a little bit cleaner Wednesday thanks to the Northwest Indiana Green Vision Project, a partnership between The Times Media Co. and Lake County Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura.
The project, an initiative by The Times-sponsored One Region, One Vision program, allows nonviolent juvenile offenders to satisfy their community service by maintaining overgrown areas throughout Lake County.
Wednesday’s task was to clean Froebel Park, Junedale Park and Horace Mann Track following Tuesday’s National Night Out event at all three sites.
Froebel Park was the first stop for five young offenders in the program. Gary’s previous project with the program was in July, when 25 offenders cleaned an area around Broadway Street and also at Marquette Park.
“It helps them understand the importance of maintaining the city and the importance of staying out of trouble,” said Mary Cossey, Gary director of constituent services.
Gary Deputy Police Chief Larry McKinley was on hand with another officer to supervise and act as role models for the offenders.
“It’s good for the community and it helps them out,” he said.
One male offender, 18, of Highland, said he’s already completed eight hours of service and has about 16 more to go.
“When it comes to physical work I actually do it right,” he said. “It’s nice to be outdoors and escorted around by the fine police department of Gary. It’s better than being inside.”