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Ahead of Earth Day, dozens of volunteers from around Oakland County spent Saturday cleaning up three community parks in Pontiac. 

In its third year, Perfect the Parks brought together about 50 students, residents, Detroit Public Works employees, Friends of the Pontiac Parks Association members and AkzoNobel employees to volunteer their time to clean up trash and brush and spread mulch at Madge Burt Park in Pontiac.

The funding was provided through a $100,000 grant from AkzoNobel, a paint and coatings company with offices in Troy and Pontiac. They also cleaned up the Aaron Perry and Art Heaton parks in Pontiac. 

"We had about 50 volunteers come out and already have play structures ready and two parks cleaned, mulched down and we've fixed a few bleachers... we've made great progress," said Kris Godlew, spokeswoman for AkzoNobel. "The students had the inspiration to do things for their community and it's a great way to kick off the summer."

Earth Day, held annually on April 22, was first celebrated in 1970 — before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or Clean Water Act existed and when it was legal for factories to spread fumes into the air or dump toxic waste into streams. 

Forty-eight years later, it is now a global day of action in which more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in.

Prepare to get dirty! Here are a few events around Metro Detroit where you can volunteer on Sunday. Comment if you know of any more events around town. 

Detroit 

Wayne 

Oakland 

srahal@detroit.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_

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