Thanks to volunteers for the year-round work they do on behalf for others. A couple of groups stand out this time of year, as we all enjoy the results of their commitment. Beautify Fort Smith has transformed the intersection at Phoenix Avenue and Old Greenwood Road. Christmas lights are now on display.
The newly reconstructed interchange at I-540 and Rogers Avenue has been landscaped, with even more to come.
At the Fort Smith National Cemetery, more than 13,000 wreaths adorn headstones. Already, weather has wreaked havoc on the decorations and, already, volunteers have quickly and quietly responded to requests from Christmas Honors organizers, so that others may find comfort in the picture-perfect postcard.
Volunteer work continues on the Arkansas water trail network. Crews from OG&E contributed two volunteer days at Carol Ann Cross Park recently, clearing a trail so that canoeists can access the Arkansas River. Read more about the project.
Celebrating one another
All passengers of Fort Smith Transit on Friday, December 19, will be treated to free rides all day. Similar free ride days occur several times each year. The December event features volunteers from a local business riding fixed routes, visiting with passengers, and sharing cookies. The employees of Hanna Oil and Gas raise funds for the event and host the free ride day in memory of the company’s founder, Jim Hanna. Read more.
Celebrating public service
Firefighter Derek Waters has been named “Firefighter of the Year“ for the Fort Smith Fire Department. Waters is a second generation firefighter, assigned to A Shift, Station 4. Waters' immediate supervisor, Captain Stanley Releford, says, “Derek embodies the culture of this department. We invest heavily in the community. We care about keeping the traditions of the fire service alive inside the department and out in the community. By honoring Derek as firefighter of the year, we demonstrate to the young firefighters what we expect from them while they go forward in their career, and that is to provide exceptional service to our citizens.” Read more.
Congratulations to two City of Fort Smith community development employees who have been elected to leadership positions in a regional organization. Matt Jennings, director of community development, is serving as chairman of the National Community Development Council – Region VI and David Smith, housing assistance coordinators, is serving on the board of directors.
Creekmore Holiday Express
The Creekmore Holiday Express will take a break Christmas Eve and Christmas night, but will resume on Friday, December 26th and will operate 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through New Year’s Eve, weather-permitting. The lights will remain on display through December 31st.
Christmas holiday service impacts
City offices will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Read here for service impacts, including trash collections, landfill operations, and public transit operations.
During this holiday season, please be mindful of practicing fire safety. The Fort Smith Fire Marshals Office provides ten easy-to-implement tips.