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Mormons to help clean up Flowery Branch on Oct. 18
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George Wangemann talks about an effort to clean up Flowery Branch Oct. 18.

Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann is taking part in a citywide cleanup, but the town he’s focusing on is some 13 miles outside the city limits.

As part of their efforts for a new church in South Hall, area Mormons — including Wangemann — are spearheading an effort to spruce up Flowery Branch in a cleanup day set for Oct. 18.

"We thought this would be a good introduction to Latter-day Saints for the folks in Flowery Branch, to let them know we care about the city, we care about that area, and we want to do our part ... to make (the city) more attractive and help keep it up," he said.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is building the church off Cash Road. The building could be finished in late spring or early summer next year, Wangemann said.

The church is working with Flowery Branch and Keep Hall Beautiful officials in the effort, which is set to begin at 9 a.m. and end around noon.

The city has had organized cleanups before, but this effort is expected to be much more expansive.

"Our church assisted in a (city-sponsored) cleanup last year," Wangemann said. "We thought this year we would make it a little bigger and better by getting our church a little more involved."

This year’s initiative won’t feature just picking up litter alongside railroad tracks and from ditches.

The groups also plans to plant flowers and shrubs.

"I know that Flowery Branch has a beautification project, at least conceptually put together, that will pretty much parallel the railroad tracks," Wangemann said. "If we can help get that started in some way, we’ll be very happy and pleased with that effort."

Flowery Branch Mayor Diane Hirling said the city has held an annual cleanup day in April for several years. That event involves Keep Hall Beautiful.

"This (Oct. 18 event) is just a special cleanup day," she said.

On that day, workers plan to fan out beyond the downtown streets that have been targeted in past city-led efforts.

"The goal is try to include all the streets in the city limits ... and perhaps a few more beyond that, since we’re not just concerned about the city of Flowery Branch but the whole area," Wangemann said.

"We’re calling on the entire community to come out and help us, no matter who they are."

Wangemann added that, as a Gainesville representative, "we’re concerned about our sister and brother cities as well. The better they look, the better we look."

Hirling said she particularly would like to see the cleanup hit Radford Road between Atlanta Highway and McEver Road.

That stretch of road "seems to be a site (where) people like to throw things out of the car," she said.

"Gainesville Street is another street that somehow picks up a lot of trash too. And we’ve never, ever come out to McEver Road in any of our (cleanups) before. We’re going to do it this time."

The effort could start at the Flowery Branch Depot on Railroad Avenue, said Cindy Reed, executive director of Keep Hall Beautiful.

"We’ll hopefully have a lot of fun that day," she added.

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