#039;Friends#039; take civic project to Vesuvius

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

IRONTON - The Friends of Ironton are heading north.

Volunteers with the civic improvement group are heading to Lake Vesuvius this weekend, and they'll have hammers in tow.

"They've got five outdoor bathrooms and the roofs are really in bad shape," said Rick Jansen, co-founder of the Friends group. "In that ice storm we had, some of the big limbs fell and damaged the roofs."

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The bathrooms are located at the Iron Ridge campground, Jansen said.

Workers plan to remove the old, damaged roof material and replace it with new tin roofing material, Jansen said. Eventually, the bathrooms will have new lights.

"We're going to go with some solar panel lights," Jansen said, although the panels will not be ready to install this weekend. "So there will be some light in there."

Jansen said the group is still looking for volunteers to help this weekend. The group plans to work on Sunday. Volunteers may call Jansen at 304-634-5956 for more information.

The project is the second one undertaken by the Friends group at Wayne National Forest.

Volunteers recently rebuilt the Big Bend Overlook, a scenic overlooking Lake Vesuvius. Years of weather and vandalism had toppled the overlook. It was constructed in the 1960s.

"It ended up being a lot more work than I ever dreamed of it being," Jansen said. "Hopefully it will last about another 20 years."

The Friends was formed earlier this year and has since participated in a number of civic projects from providing bullet-resistant vests for the Ironton Police Department to organizing the successful Rally on the River last month.

Jansen said the group is still working on projects to help improve the area.

"We're still active and we're still trying to do things," he said.

The Friends' next meeting will be at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday at the city center on Third Street.

Jansen said anyone interested in making a difference in the community is invited to attend.

The group is planning another fund-raiser in November. They plan to host a pancake breakfast at Applebee's in Ashland, Ky., on Nov. 20. Tickets will be $5.