It's time to roll-up your sleeves, Walnut Creek.
The city's second Community Service Day will take place Oct. 6, offering plenty of ways volunteers can clean, beautify and help various organizations and schools throughout the city.
From taking trash out of the creek to stenciling paw prints at Bancroft Elementary, there are more than 50 projects volunteers can sign up for.
Started last year, the event -- put on by the city -- is an attempt at a one-day coordinated effort for volunteers. From Boy Scout troops to parishioners of local churches, individuals and groups have signed up in droves, but more are needed. As of Tuesday, 450 people had signed on and five projects were filled, said Gayle Vassar, communications manager for the city.
Last year 1,000 people worked on various projects, but the city and volunteer organizers hope to beat that number this year. There are more projects this year; all Walnut Creek public schools are participating, and many projects have an unlimited number of spaces for volunteers.
People can spend the day cleaning book shelves at a school library, pulling weeds at the Rossmoor Community Garden, collecting food for the Monument Crisis Center or organizing the costume shop at the Lesher Center.
Projects are developed so they can be completed in four hours or less and, unlike last year, there are three projects that offer an afternoon shift so not everything has to be done in the morning, Vassar said.
"Community Service Day definitely gets things done that would not otherwise get done," she said.
As an example, volunteers last year distributed emergency preparedness packets to more than 5,000 homes. This is something that could not have been accomplished by the Community Emergency Response Team on its own, Vassar said.
The day also helps build awareness of the area's nonprofit organizations. Last year, 64 percent of participants said Community Service Day was the first time they had been involved with their project's organization, according to Vassar.
The idea for this event in Walnut Creek was part of Mayor Cindy Silva's "Year of the Volunteer" a year ago. She got the idea from Pleasant Hill, which has its eighth Community Service Day Saturday with an estimated 1,000 volunteers.
The two cities were recently awarded the Helen Putnam Award of Excellence by the League of California Cities in recognition of their respective Community Service Day events.
"The bottom-line objective for both of our cities was to create a single-day event that would engage our communities, introduce volunteers to new opportunities, and create lasting impact, " Silva said in a news release.
Walnut Creek's Community Service Day will kick off with a 7:30 a.m. free pancake breakfast at Heather Farm Park, put on by the Lions Club. T-shirts will be given to the first 700 volunteers that morning. Then volunteers will head off to work around 9 a.m.
To sign up for a project, go to the city's website www.walnut-creek.org. Registration online ends Oct. 6, but those who wish to participate can still register the day of the event at Heather Farm Park.
Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.