Two-day volunteer project begins at Chester Woods Park after the - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Two-day volunteer project begins at Chester Woods Park after the EF-1 tornado in July

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EYOTA, Minn. (KTTC) -

With cleanup from disaster on the minds of so many, you can help take part in recovery efforts closer to home.

A two-day volunteer project is underway Wednesday at Chester Woods Park following the EF-1 tornado that caused damage there in July.

The July 19th tornado forced Chester Woods Park to close almost all of its trails and its beach. Crews worked around the clock to help clear much of the park in the days that followed, but there's a lot left to do. 

So the Olmsted County Public Works Department asked if people could volunteer to help staff by moving firewood and dragging brush.
Chester Woods Park only has four full-time staff members so the volunteers made all the difference.

"It's huge. We have volunteers coming out to help, we have different work groups coming out to help," said Staff Naturalist Celeste Lewis. "We only have four full-time staff in the park here in Chester Woods, we have other park staff that have come out from Oxbow and various different agencies as well helping. It helps us out tremendously with that extra labor and hours and just time in general."

Lewis said they didn't know it was a tornado at first until they sent out a drone, and sent the pictures to the National Weather Service. She said they will use logs for firewood, and the rest of the wood will be used to wood-chip the trail

You can help Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Park Staff  ask you call their office at 507-287-2624 to sign up. 

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