DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Hundreds of volunteers came out Saturday to beautify parks around the Dayton area for Earth Day.

Five Rivers MetroParks hosted its 35th annual Adopt-A-Park event. Nearly 400 volunteers of all age signed up for 22 projects across 16 parks.

Some of the projects included gardening, mulching, trail maintenance, invasive species removal, litter pickup and fence repair.

“Earth Day is all about taking care of nature, connecting with our natural environment, and that is the mission of Five Rivers MetroParks,” Jenny Hymans, human resources manager of volunteer services for Five Rivers MetroParks, said.

Some the the event’s youngest volunteers said a little dirt on their hands didn’t matter when it came to making a difference at the parks.

“We’re helping for everybody to come here and make sure that everything looks nice so that people will enjoy,” Jada said.

Last year, volunteers clocked more than 18,000 service hours total in the MetroParks. Hymans said their work makes a real impact on the quality of our parks and environment.

“I always say if you value our safe, clean, beautiful parks, thank volunteers because they’re the ones that make it happen,” Hymans said.

Volunteering doesn’t just take place on Earth Day, Five Rivers MetroParks has hundreds of volunteer opportunities year-round.