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                                                                                                                                      Hope Street Garden and Learning Lab got the beginnings of a face-lift as a couple dozen volunteers from out-of-state youth groups descended Thursday on the outdoor space on West Hope Avenue .

The tasks at hand were digging a 10-foot round basin to house a pond and affixing about 15 pieces of poster-sized original artwork to the chain-link fence surrounding the garden.

Youth groups such as Next Gen from Castine Church of the Brethren in Ohio and Week of Hope from North Dakota helped out.

"I love the fact the so many people come from all over specifically to work at Hope Street," said Anne Clark, executive director of the garden.

Teen volunteers used pickaxes and shovels to clear rocks and dirt for the pond housing, and others used plastic cable ties to hang the art.

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Clark said she used, as a canvas, the translucent panels from a Hope Street Garden greenhouse that was destroyed by a storm last year. She works as director of community outreach for Lincoln Charter School.

She said youth group volunteers and Lincoln students painted the panels.

Next Gen member Charisse Hoblit, 17, of Eldorado, Ohio, said she got to spend more time with kids than she has on other trips.  

“Just to work with the kids is amazing, and I love it,” she said.

Clark said the teen volunteers assisted in the classroom as tutors and led small-group discussions focusing on personal enrichment.

"We find students are connectors to our students," she said. "A teacher may say something, but the teens say it in a 'kid way.'"

Hope Street Garden and Learning Lab was created in a joint effort by Lincoln Charter, Logos Charter, York County School of Technology and the York City School District, according to Clark. She said Lincoln students and staff do the majority of the upkeep. 

After volunteers packed away the tools for the day, Next Gen members were off to another task in the city. They are here for the week.

“We really want to get to know your city,” said Andrew Costa, Castine Church of the Brethren youth pastor.

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