Tucson groups volunteering to clean up downtown

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A weekly social turns into opportunity for Tucson's downtown area.  People who take part in the Maynard's walk on Mondays are now rolling up their sleeves to beautify some rough spots on their path.

"There are a lot of places that aren't very beautiful and we thought, 'Wouldn't it be fun to find some things that a group of willing people could do in an hour, hour and a half,'" said Janine Cox from Meet Me at Maynard's.

The Meet Me at Maynard's runners and walkers are volunteering to improve the eye-sores they encounter on their weekly route.

Their first project is transforming a rock-bed outside the Tucson Convention Center.

"And they said we're going to do a garden this week and next week and I thought that would be fun, my daughter's doing it, so I did my run early and got down here," said runner James Passannanti.

Volunteers are getting some expert help from a non-profit called Linkages, which provides career training and job placement services for those who are disabled or in recovery.

"Managing, directing people, also we're redoing the drip irrigation we're helping pick all the plants so they're the ones doing the actual technical landscaping," said Ethan Orr from Linkages.

Marcos Chavez is one of linkages client who is using this opportunity to hone his skills.

"Teaching me all kinds of different things, irrigation, landscaping, just the basics but it'll help me to get a better job out there," said Linkages client Marcos Chavez.

Monday volunteers are clearing the rocks and digging holes, where they will plant a flower bed next week. Then the group will move on to another site.

"We love downtown.  We appreciate downtown.  It's part of our lives and we want it to be as attractive as it can be," said Janine.

The Tucson Convention Center has pledged to maintain the garden once it's completed next week.