Each year Austin Parks Foundation sponsors It’s My Park Day on the first Saturday in March. Volunteers work in crews to spruce up the numerous parks across the city. I chose Republic Square Park since it is only a few blocks from our apartment and home to the Austin Farmers’ Market.
Our crew leader explained that the day’s goal was to plant about 100 containers of native grasses and ground covers. He warned us that we might dig into asphalt since, at one point, Republic Square Park had been paved over to create a parking lot. The volunteer crew was supplemented by a few landscapers who spaced the plants and generally oversaw the work.
Gloves, shovels, rakes, pick axes and wheelbarrows were provided. The plants were all donated, as was coffee and breakfast. I believe the Dillo Dirt was supplied by the City of Austin. And yes, I am amazed that there is a Wikipedia entry for Dillo Dirt, although I’m pretty sure this is due to the reference to the famous Dillo Dirt Fiasco at the 2009 ACL Music Festival.
I foolishly started with an ornamental grass in a five-gallon container. I managed to dig down about a foot but then couldn’t make any progress. I wish I could say this was due to the asphalt but that would not be true. Fortunately a kind (and strong) man came to my rescue and chiseled out my sad-excuse-for-a-hole to the proper size. After that, I chose smaller containers instead!