Saturday, July 10, 2010

Panhandle Park Stewards: Clearing Paths, Building Community

Wading boots required to take this corner an hour earlier

Stewards cleared paths of mud and replanted sod

8 inches of muddy sod cleared from walkway

Great turnout of neighbors, volunteers from Asian American Recovery Services
and park gardener, Charlie (seated, far left)

The North Panhandle's neighborhood park is cleaner with less mud and wider paths after the two-hour stint Saturday morning by a dozen volunteers. The Asian American Recovery Services joined the Panhandle Park Stewards to shovel mud off the Panhandle paths in the western end of the park. Dale Danley, leader of the park stewards, said he felt encouraged after the accomplishments of the day. "After taking on these big mud puddles, I'm beginning to think we can actually do something about these muddy pathways. We still need to work with the city to get a long-term solution."

The Panhandle becomes a better public space after each outing of the park stewards, and, as importantly, the community grows with stronger bonds as neighbors and friends work together. This Saturday one new NOPA neighbor, Jared, helped with the work along with his friend, Aaron. Regulars included Doug, Dawn, and her dogs, Frankie and Smokey.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't this work the City was traditionally required to perform? I mean they abdicated their responsibility and let the paths fall into a state of neglect. Just last summer the Class 1 path was only about 3 feet wide in certain spots. The volunteers do make a noticable difference in keeping the grass and mud from encroaching upon the path.

    But the questiona remains. If the City can't or won't maintain bike facilites, at what point can volunteers step in and do it for them? One glaringingly obvious example is the broken bike lanes all over town. Can we legally go out and repaint them if the City can't or won't?