It’s hard to believe another wonderful year at The Parklands is coming to a close. This time of year gives us the opportunity to reflect on all of the time, effort, and talents our volunteers have donated to The Parklands in 2015!
Parklands volunteers donated over 8,000 hours this past year helping in a variety of areas including our gardens, trails, education programs, events, and more. Volunteers planted over 400 trees, mulched a countless number of garden beds, cleared trash from our beloved Floyds Fork, and helped to greet and inform visitors at our interpretive center. While it’s hard to simplify the enormous impact our volunteers have on the park each year, I’m going to narrow it down into my top 5 volunteer moments this year. In no particular order:
#5) Building Bluebird Boxes in the Prairie Preserve
This year we were lucky enough to have an Eagle Scout candidate, Lucus Hodge, build and install 12 bluebird boxes in the Prairie Preserve section of Pope Lick Park. Lucus worked with an avian biologist from the KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to come up with the box design, and then met with our natural areas team to identify the best spot for the boxes. He and his troop came out on a cold February afternoon to install them and happily reported that most of the boxes had nests and eggs in them by March. I look forward to seeing the impact this project will continue to have for our feathered friends each spring!
#4) Movie Nights
Our summer movie nights were special because they highlighted the dedication and flexibility of our volunteers, who are always willing to do whatever is necessary to accomplish a task. Our movie night volunteers helped with everything from checking in members, to coordinating parking, to popping popcorn for our moviegoers to enjoy. A very special thank you goes out to Highview Baptist Church who donated all of the popcorn and provided kids activities before every movie this year.
#3) Mulching in the Humana Grand Allee with the UPS Air Cargo Division
While mulching doesn’t exactly sound exciting enough to make it to a “top 5” list, this event was a little different. On October 22, the UPS Air Cargo Division came out for their 4th volunteer project at The Parklands. For a volunteer program only in its 3rdyear, that’s a pretty big accomplishment! This is one of our most dedicated and hardworking volunteer groups. They have come out in the freezing rain and sleet as well as the 90 degree heat. Luckily we had a perfectly mild and sunny day to sweeten the deal this year.
#2) Spring Creek Sweep
Each year we host a creek sweep in conjunction with the city-wide Mayor’s Give-A-Day Week of Service initiative. This is one of my favorite events because it urges people of all ages to come out and lend a hand to help keep our park clean, safe, and beautiful for all of our visitors. Volunteers cleared hundreds of pounds of trash from the banks of Floyds Fork and other areas of the park, so this event has a major feel-good factor for everyone involved.
#1) Turkey Run Park Opening Weekend Tree Planting
On Saturday, October 16, 30 volunteers braved the first frosty, cold morning of the year to plant 300 trees in the Stout Bottomland to commemorate the official opening of Turkey Run Park. This was a special event not only because of the excitement surrounding the opening of our largest park, but because we were able to see the growth and progress of the trees planted by volunteers in that same area from the spring of 2012 – one of our first ever volunteer events in the park!
Thank you to all of our volunteers who donate their time to help keep The Parklands in tip-top shape!
To learn more about our volunteer opportunities, please visit our volunteer page here. For inquiries about group projects please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to seeing you out in the park soon!