Community steps in during crisis to help maintain parks
With the considerable reduction in staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Avalon reached out to the community for the concept of an Adopt A Park program for the ongoing general maintenance needs of the parks during the pandemic. The Community Services Department, along with all the city departments, were hit hard with reduction of staff to their operations, which soon became apparent with the lack of upkeep to the parks.
With these reduced city staff levels, the city parks were left unattended to for things like daily trash clean-up and weeding. The Community Services Director, Dan Huncke, put together an “Adopt A Park” program in which community members would assist during these times for general upkeep of the parks. Huncke, first reached out to Chief Krug with the Avalon Fire Station to suggest the idea of the Avalon Fire Department taking the lead on the first park, Kid’s Park, which is directly across the street from the fire station. Krug agreed to work with his team to assist, as staffing was available, with the upkeep of Kid’s Park.
Director Huncke then reached out to Linda Salo, a Rotary member, to assist with the maintaining the landscaping from the Mole through front street. The Avalon Rotary has previously joined the City of Avalon with “Community Day Plantings” throughout these same areas. Linda already had some ‘plans in the works” to do something along these same lines with a group of volunteers she had been discussing the idea with. This group has affectionately called themselves the “weed warriors” and can be seen on Mondays & Wednesdays from 8:00 – 10:00am pulling weeds and eventually will be adding some landscaping to the landscape beds along these common areas.
After a brief conversation with Captain Davey, County Fire Station #55, Captain Davey agreed to assist with some of the general clean-up of Joe Machado Field directly across from the fire station. Station #55 personal have been seen pulling weeds, picking up trash and just some general upkeep of the facility. The overall concept of the “Adopt A Park” program was just general upkeep until further restrictions are lifted for increased use of the facilities and parks and until city staff will be brought back for their regular maintenance duties.
The last park on the radar for Director Huncke was City Park. At the time of reaching out, the grass at City Park was up to ones shins and the weeds even higher. With the City of Avalon having a wonderful relationship with many of the non-profit organizations on the island, and this particular one being a great community partner in the bi-annual “Community Clean-Up Day”, Huncke reached out to Catelyn Canby requesting the Girls Scouts getting involved in the program. Canby shared with Huncke that group activities of any sort were still not allowed due to the coronavirus, but without hesitation she committed her family to take on the upkeep of City Park. The Canby’s have had numerous outing to the park and at times you can see three generations of Canby’s working side by side to beautify the park.
The City of Avalon cannot thank enough, these community members, for jumping to action to help keep Avalon beautiful. Please assist us if you see them out and about on behalf of the City of Avalon by thanking them for their help!
For more information about the “Adopt A Park” program or other volunteer opportunities, please contact Dan Huncke at (310)-510-0220 ext. 230 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org