Mormons gather to clean up area parks

Several hundred members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will work in community and state parks Saturday, cleaning up trash and rebuilding trails.

It's part of the annual "Mormon Helping Hands Community Day of Service," which is expected to draw 70,000 volunteers statewide.

Roy Wasden, president of the Modesto Stake, said the effort this year to "renew and restore California parks ... is particularly needed in this time of tight government budgets."

Local volunteers will spend the morning in Modesto's Beard Brook Park, Turlock's Columbia Park, Salida's Caswell Memorial State Park and Riverbank's Jacob Myers Park, among other sites.