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Sanger parks program offers benefits

Sanger officials say they could use a helping hand from residents to maintain and clean the city’s four parks, including the new softball complex opened recently off Interstate 35.

Officials are hoping that residents and local organizations will 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 the city’s parks maintenance crews, and officials said that any help the public can provide would be appreciated.

Sanger’s parks department has a budget of a little less than $600,000 that pays for six employees, park maintenance, supplies, community centers and utilities. But during the summer months, park maintenance becomes a challenge due to additional mowing and other work.

Considering the state of our lawn lately, we can certainly identify with Sanger’s need for a little extra help. Recent rainfall has encouraged grass and weeds to go crazy.

Sanger’s Adopt-a-Park Program is led by the parks department, and officials say the 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.”

We believe Sanger’s Adopt-a-Park program is an economically sound way to get more done with a little help from friends.

And you don’t have to have a garage filled with lawn-care equipment to participate. Residents can sign up for different commitment levels ranging from one to two years and include everything from painting to pulling weeds to picking up trash, officials said.

When you stop and think about it, just about anyone can pull weeds and pick up trash, and volunteering to help with the city’s park maintenance might prove to be an effective fitness regimen.

This is a great way to give back to the community and to yourselves — from adding a healthy exercise to your routine to keeping parks nice and clean for you and your loved ones and others to enjoy. And, since tax dollars pay for the upkeep, it’s a way to keep those costs contained.

Organizations, businesses and residents 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.

The volunteer program could also provide a great educational opportunity. Officials said they hope students, churches and local organizations will join the effort, and we’ve got a feeling that kids who spend a few hours helping clean a park won’t be tempted to litter anytime soon.

Officials have distributed brochures about the program, and they are hoping more residents will participate. Crenwelge said the program will allow community-minded groups to work as a team.

We sincerely hope Sanger residents will take advantage of this opportunity, and we encourage other cities that don’t already have volunteer programs to consider developing one.

Working on improvement projects — even something as simple as picking up litter — is a great way to instill pride and a sense of ownership in the community.

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.