Volunteers keep Rockwall parks beautiful

Spring into action

Nine-year-old VIP Zachary Young helps clean up Harry Myers Park. He is the son of Wendy and Phillip Young. Wendy is Administrative Secretary Parks and Recreation and Philip is RPD Community Service Officer. “I love living in Rockwall, and I like to help the environment,” Zachary said.

ROCKWALL, TX (May 13, 2014) Become a VIP by signing up for the City of Rockwall Parks and Recreation Department Volunteers in Parks program. VIP is a great opportunity to put your talents and interests to work benefiting your hometown, said Andy Hesser, the city’s Parks & Recreation Manager.

“One of our biggest needs is clean up in various parks and greenbelts – but – most people may not know that we welcome help installing and maintaining annual color beds as well as any new landscaping,” he said.

There is another volunteer opportunity with Adopt-a-Park. Just sign up and commit to helping the city with regular maintenance activities at your favorite park or trail.

“All you have to do is contact us and come up with a plan!” said Hesser.

All ages are welcome to participate. Groups that have volunteered with VIP include middle school youths fromLakePointeChurch, those fromPillarChurchand the Life Disc Sports group from the Life House.

The middle school group from Lake Point Church plants flowers in Harry Myers Park.

“We have done several volunteer projects,” said Jamie Pippin, Middle School Associate at Lake Pointe, explaining that one of their first projects was in October when about 60 students planted flowers in Harry Myers Park. “It was an amazing experience for students.”

Susan Vitela does student ministry for Pillar Church so she is always looking for service projects. Her group cleaned up a park.

“The event was well organized, and the students received t-shirts, which they really appreciated,” said Vitela. “We would be more than happy to help the City of Rockwall again.”

Chris Kelley of Life Disc Sports has an ongoing relationship with the City ofRockwall. Their last volunteer event was at the Harry Myers Disc Golf Course for maintenance and cleanup. An avid disc golfer, Kelley said he loves having a world-class disc golf course in Rockwall.

“I am super excited to see how fast disc golf is growing here,” he explained. “Parks and Rec has always been super supportive of the sport of disc golf, and so, I, in turn want to support them when I can. Cleaning up the park is ultimately the responsibility of those that use it, and I love the fact that we have some organized cleanups going on out there.”

His group also volunteers at the city’s Family Fun Fridays that meet the fourth Thursday of each month, May through August. The event provides a venue for Kelly to share his love for disc golf by demonstrating the game for families and letting them try their hand at putting.

Family Fun Fridays, he said, is one of the department’s best programs because it brings people together from all over Rockwall and there is something going on the keep everyone’s interest.

“We simply think it’s important for people to get back to nature and be in it and enjoy all the good times it can bring…Get out and play!” Kelley urged residents.

The city is fortunate to have a diverse pool of individuals that donate their time and talents in the city’s beautiful parks for a multitude of services, including repairing and painting benches, bridges and fences; park clean-up; and planting annual flowers. The greatest needs now are: sand, clean, paint and stain Lofland Park Train playscape; cemetery clean up at SH 66 and SH 205; stain split rail fences at Myers; Dog Park maintenance; Squabble Creek Mountain Bike Trail Maintenance; and greenbelt clean ups.

To join a Parks and Recreation volunteer program or for more information, contact Wendy Young at 972-771-7761 or .

By Judy Evans, Blue Ribbon News contributing writer. She is an award-winning journalist who spent her career in Rockwall as a reporter, editor and columnist working with The Rockwall Success/Rowlett Record and The Dallas Morning News.

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