The non-profit Austin Parks Foundation sponsors It’s My Park Day as a spring clean-up day for our city parks. This year I volunteered at Republic Square Park, home to the Downtown Farmers Market and Movies in the Park.
Our crew leader Daniel said that over 3000 volunteers had signed up for about 100 projects for Saturday’s event. He explained that our 30+ person crew had two tasks for the morning: spreading mulch and weeding.
Armed with wheelbarrows, shovels, and rakes, half of the volunteers tackled a huge mulch pile. In less than two hours, the pile had disappeared and all that mulch was evenly distributed under the park’s trees.
Meanwhile, the rest of us attacked weeds in the same area where we had planted native grasses and bushes during the 2011 It’s My Park Day. Most of those plants are thriving, but the garden is being invaded by pesky Bermuda grass from the lawn. Even using shovels, pulling out that Bermuda was tedious, back-bending work. Soon we had a little contest going to see who could pull out the biggest clump.
After two hours of intensive weeding, the garden certainly looked much better. We liberated many plants that were being strangled by grass. Daniel is planning to arrange periodic weeding get-togethers to keep our park looking its best!