500 LDS Volunteers Clean Park in Austin, Texas
By Colette McCullough, Church News contributor
- Approximately 500 LDS volunteers spent a Saturday giving back to their community by beautifying a park in Austin, Texas.
- Park manager Karen Thompson was amazed at how much the volunteers did.
“I am very grateful—humbled is the right word—for the amount of work the group accomplished.” —Karen Thompson, Guerrero park manager
Approximately 500 LDS volunteers worked to clean up Roy G. Guerrero Park in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, September 14. Wearing yellow Mormon Helping Hands vests, men, women, and youngsters gathered trash and branches along park trails, weeded flower beds, spread mulch, scrubbed baseball bleachers, power washed off graffiti, painted a bridge, cleared dead trees, and spread wildflower seeds.
“The Mormon Helping Hands volunteers got a lot done—it was amazing how much trash, debris, and dead wood [they] gathered on the back trails,” said the park’s manager, Karen Thompson. “I am very grateful—humbled is the right word—for the amount of work the group accomplished.”
Roy G. Guerrero Park has been in the planning stages for nearly a decade, finally opening to the public in July of 2013. Because the park is new and still being developed, many projects needed attention.
Kelsey Morris, who has lived in the Austin area for three years, brought her six children along. “I want to make sure my kids know the importance of giving back to our communities,” Sister Morris said. “Even my little ones want to help. They spread wildflower seeds, weeded, and picked up trash.”
“I firmly believe that as we work side by side in a common cause, it gives the chance to build upon the principle the Savior taught to be of one heart and one mind, which is a characteristic of a Zion people,” said Scott McCullough of the stake high council. “Working in selfless service as a stake helps us, perhaps, to look past the day-to-day flaws that we may sometimes see in each other and see to the intent of heart and realize that we are all working for a common cause as we work shoulder to shoulder.”