With government budgets shrinking, parks are getting smaller pieces of the fiscal pie. In some communities, they turn to volunteer groups to help fill in funding gaps with hands on work. Earlier this month, Channel 8 followed some Tulsa workers who spent a day helping to clean up Chandler Park.
There are more than 200 acres of facilities and wooded areas that make up the park. Taking care of the property is no easy task. With a full-time staff of just four on the job, they cannot keep up with all of the smaller duties. Having volunteers help out makes a huge difference.
Chandler Park Manager Courtney Langley says, "It's wonderful because it's tiny things we can't get to, like trash in the playgrounds and the graffiti we can't get to daily because we're mowing and picking up the trash from events."
The day Channel 8 visited U.S. Cellular was out doing whatever was needed. It's dirty work, but was a nice break from their daily routines. Danielle Dipboye of U.S. Cellular tells Channel 8, "I like fresh air and it's fun. We're all having a good time cleaning and joking around."
Treynor Tetik agrees, "I mean it's a park everybody comes to, so it's nice to clean it up. They do not have to look at graffiti or trash. It just makes it a more pleasant experience for people to come to the park."
U.S. Cellular tells us that they have committed the summer to acts of kindness to make Tulsa a better place for its families. "The goal really is just to come out and spend time with individuals that are out playing with their families. Just be one with the community, so we thought a kickoff event to cleanup the parks would be a good idea," says Patricia Lawwill.