Last Saturday was the 13th annual It’s My Park Day, sponsored by the Austin Parks Foundation. This year about 3,000 volunteers worked on projects at almost 100 parks around the city. Projects included weeding, mulching, graffiti removal, and garbage pickup.
I decided to work at Shoal Beach Metropolitan Park, the penisula area just north of Lady Bird Lake. Our task was to collect garbage along the shoreline and around the old Seaholm intake building. The project leader, Linda, distributed work gloves, grabber pickup tools, and garage bags to our team of ten volunteers. She warned us to be careful when handling heavy or sharp objects and to not fall into the lake.
We compared our findings at the end of our two-hour shift. One person found a complete case of empty beer bottles. Some found syringes. Several volunteers worked together to drag a soaked sleeping bag out of the lake. Here is what I found:
- Empty cans and (mostly water) bottles
- Doggie waste bags, tennis balls, and chew toys
- Candy wrappers and straws
- Broken sun glasses
- A rusty circular saw blade
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