AUSTIN (KXAN) - It was the usual bustle of activity at Pease Park Saturday morning - the sunbathing,running, disc golfing and cycling with the family.
And even with all the hustle and bustle at the park, dozens ofvolunteers got right down to business in the middle of it all tospruce up the
"Load, dump, repeat. That's kind of the order of the day here,"said Richard Craig, with Friends ofPease Park.
In an assembly line-type of order, volunteers filled theirwheelbarrows with mulch, rolled them down to their dumping groundand emptied the load. Then, it was back to the loading mound torefill their wheelbarrows to do it all over again.
Craig said the relayering of the mulch - also mixed in with Dillo Dirt - helps aerate the land and providesthe moisture and nutrients needed to promote tree growth. Thelayers of the mixture also prevent weeds from resurfacing aroundthe trees.
All a part of the 25th Annual Keep Austin Beautiful Clean Sweepat 128 sites throughout the city, people also picked up trash andeven sifted through Shoal Creek's waters.
"[It's] a family day out," said volunteer Jim Crooks. "If you'redoing something worthwhile, this is just perfect, you know. It'sreally been fun."
Crooks' 10-year-old daughter Ellie fearlessly took control ofthe creek, removing her socks and shoes to jump right into thecreek - even if it was to take a break from the cleanup to cooloff. Ellie found a waterlogged tennis ball along the way, inaddition to some other murky items.
"We found, like, this huge, big plate," said Ellie. "We don'tknow what it was, but it was like metal."
Meanwhile, Noah Barnes and Roberto Hernandez - both 10 years old- sifted through seemingly every blade of grass with aunt KristieNaylor to find cigarette butts and other odd items along the way,including what looked like an old sweater.
"We really like planet Earth," said Noah. "Because that's wherewe live, and that's where most of our water and food comesfrom."
Even though Noah had a little setback at the beginning of hiscleanup adventure, he didn't let that get in the way.
"I was not expecting to lose my tooth," said Noah, after losingit while biting into a doughnut. "I didn't know a doughnut was thatpowerful!"
"The children are part of our future, so we have to teach themwhat we do as an adult so they learn it as children and will teachtheir children," said Naylor. "Picking up trash and litter from ourenvironment helps Keep Austin Beautiful, and that's part of what wedid today, just to keep it pretty."
Crooks said this won't be his last volunteer effort to keepAustin beautiful.
"We'll definitely do it in other parks as well, but we'llprobably come back here and do it again because we've had a greattime."
As one of Austin's oldest parks, Craig said it's
"Austin prides itself on being a green city, but we can't reallyjust rely on our reputation," said Craig. "We have to reinvest onit every generation."
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