SANGER — City officials want residents and local organizations to participate in the city’s new Adopt-a-Park Program, which is designed to use volunteers to maintain and clean city-owned trails, open spaces and parks.
Summer is the busiest time for Parks and Recreation Department officials and any help the community provides will be appreciated, officials said.
The program is led by the parks department, and officials say their goal is to encourage residents to take pride in their parks and keep them clean.
“Any little thing will help,” said Brian Crenwelge, Parks and Recreation Department director. “We’re not begging for help, but this will help our department greatly with maintenance.”
The city’s parks department has a budget that’s just less than $600,000, which pays for six employees, park maintenance, supplies, the community centers and utilities.
“During the summer, we’re strapped on time because we spend a lot of our time mowing and doing maintenance work that’s associated with summer,” Crenwelge said.
Residents can choose to volunteer at different levels of commitments. Time commitments can range from one to two years.
Some of the work could include painting, pulling weeds or picking up trash.
Residents, businesses or organizations can also make donations or apply for sponsorships by contributing monetarily or with tangible goods.
All residents who complete 25 hours of service will receive an annual discount of $100 for the rental of a park amenity.
Crenwelge said he wants to encourage students, churches and local businesses to volunteer.
City officials said the program is a way to create a unified effort among residents to keep public parks clean.
Sanger resident and University of North Texas student David Reeves hadn’t heard of the program until this week and expects that awareness about the program will spread through word of mouth.
“That’s how most things are promoted nowadays,” he said. “I think as more people join the program, it will make others want to volunteer.”
Reeves said he will consider joining the program once he gathers more information about the program.
There are a few parks and open spaces around Sanger that residents can adopt, including the John Porter Sports Complex, the downtown square and the baseball fields along Railroad Avenue.
Officials have distributed brochures about the program to residents, and they are hoping more residents will participate.
Crenwelge said there are already several residents who work to keep the parks clean, and he’s hoping for more people as time passes.
Crenwelge said the program will allow community-minded groups to work as a team.
“Now with the addition of the Adopt-a-Park Program, we can better organize their efforts and give them the recognition they deserve,” he said.
Residents who are interested in joining the program or want more information can contact the city of Sanger Parks and Recreation Department at 940-458-2059 or stop by the Park Office at 201 Bolivar St.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882and via Twitter at @JDHarden.