The once deteriorated landscape that surrounded the Sunnyside Post Office is in the process of receiving a Daybreak Rotary makeover as a six-member crew brought almost 100 yards of rock prior to planting of vegetation and fine tuning the drip irrigation water system, beginning Thursday.

“The grounds have been an eye sore for the past few years and it’s nice to get the improvements in,” Jay Hester, rotary member and Sunnyside Port District executive director said after he took a break from shoveling rock adjacent to the main entrance on Friday.

Volunteers, including local businesses, community organizations and government agencies such as Van Belle Excavating, Van Wingerden Landscaping, Luther Rock, Ag Pro Construction, Sunnyside Port District and the Sunnyside downtown business association provided materials and resources, donations and contributed a great deal of sweat equity labor to make the highly anticipated project finally happen.

Located at 713 E. Edison Ave., the 90-year-old building’s underground watering system broke and was shut off about five-years ago, the landscape declined and soon became an eye sore.

“The post office is an historic and central area of Sunnyside and it’s nice to make it look good for a change. The Port and Rotary are doing a great job,” Jim Arvidson acknowledged, who is a 49-year resident of Sunnyside and Daybreak Rotary member.

He added the group is presently working on the plans for a downtown skate park and is excited about the progress they’re making on the project.

The grounds team placed a synthetic landscape fabric over the bare soil prior to hauling the dark gray and earth colored rock from the parking lot with a tractor loader. Once the rocks were moved onto the weed barrier, they were spread out over the site with shovels and rakes.

Holes for shrubs and pre-installed water lines were already dug out and kept clear of rock while the crew completed the two-day decorative stone installation.

So far, there were 10 loads of decorative stones delivered to the property. One dump truck load of rock is equivalent to about 10 yards, according to Hester.

“I enjoy it. You stay in the office all day long, it’s gratifying to be able to appreciate your labor and to see things like this that will be here for years,” Hester expressed.”

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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