Each year Austin Parks Foundation sponsors It’s My Park Day at city parks and public lands. In 2011, over 2,000 volunteers participated in 72 projects all around the city.
This year I joined about 25 other volunteers at Auditorium Shores on the south side of Lady Bird Lake. Our leader Bill Fraser explained that he has been this park’s “adopter” for the last several years and works closely with city officials on maintenance projects and future plans for the large expanse of land.
After gathering for a group photo, the volunteers split into smaller work crews. With assistance from city workers and a backhoe loader, several crews fortified the shoreline with rocks and gravel to prevent erosion.
My crew was assigned to spread fine gravel to level out an eroded section of the leash-free area. Our crew shoveled the gravel into wheelbarrows, dumped it along the shore, and then raked and packed it down so the gravel wouldn’t slide into the water. We were very grateful when a muscular guy (who was finishing his morning run) offered to handle the wheelbarrows for us.
Our work was completed in about 90 minutes and soon dogs were once again frolicking along that section of the lake.
The weather and scenery were beautiful and I enjoyed talking about Austin with my crew members. But I must admit that I was a little jealous of another crew’s assignment: to pressure wash and scrub the famous statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn.