Mormon Helping Hands to deploy nearly one million volunteers Saturday to beautify state parks

Mormon Helping Hands said it would join with members and friends of the church throughout the state Saturday to renew and beautify some 10,000 city, county and state parks.

The group, affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a news release that nearly one million members will join in the beautification efforts at California parks, coastlines and desert regions.

In Merced County, around 625 people will participate, according to Tom and Karen Fife, two of the organizers.

Some 288 people will work at Applegate Park, Lake Yosemite and Henderson Park in Merced; 136 will work in Joan Faul Park, Neves Park, Bloss Park and Veterans Park in Atwater; 40 workers will go to Mariposa Park; 71 in Los Banos to work on the bike path and West and East Side Gates; 50 at O'banion Park in Los Banos; and 40 at Chowchilla's Leisure Park.

Mormon Helping Hands estimated that each person would work about four hours on park projects. They'll be wearing bright yellow Helping Hands vests. Workers will bring their own tools and supplies, and parks and recreation officials will provide other equipment, including trash bags.

For further information, please contact Tom and Karen Fife, (209) 383-6745 or karencfife@yahoo.com.