Volunteers show up to walk, clean up South Park

By BRITTANY FHOLER 
Cove Leader-Press

The Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation Department partnered with Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful to hold the first ever South Park Walk and Cleanup Sunday morning at South Park. 
More than 50 people showed up by 8 a.m. Sunday to walk the trail and pick up trash, wearing orange volunteer vests and armed with trash bags and trash grabbers. 
This event was held in conjunction with Parks and Recreation Month, according to Parks and Rec superintendent Joe Dyer. As they tried to figure out how to involve different organizations within the city, they decided to contact Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, he said. 
“When we thought about where do we need, I guess, some ownership, citizens of the city owning some of their parks because it is their parks, we thought about South Park,” Dyer said. “It’s a wonderful trail. It’s a great place for families to come out and walk. There’s shade with the trees but the biggest complaint we have is the trash on the walking trail.”
There are plans to continue the partnership between Parks and Rec and KCCB, Dyer added. 
“Absolutely, we want to continue it,” he said. “It’s a matter of just building that community bond, and Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful does great, wonderful things, and we try to do those great, wonderful things. Doing them together just makes so much more sense.”
Roxanne Flores-Achmad, executive director of Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, said that partnering up together allowed them each to reach a different audience than they might normally. 
A lot of the attendees on Sunday were new to KCCB, she added. 
“We were worried at first because it was a Sunday, but we figured let’s try it. You know, we may have one, we may have 50 here, but it was great,” Flores-Achmad said. “We got people that have never volunteered for Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful and so we’re reaching a new audience.”
Three of Sunday’s volunteers included Brittany Gauman, her nephew, Mason, 9, and her almost two-year-old daughter, Maxine. 
This was Gauman’s first time doing an official cleanup event since living in Texas. Her nephew was visiting from Ohio so she wanted to do some volunteer work, she said. 
“I usually pick up trash as I go along in the parks with them anyways, so I figured why not go ahead and do it with a group and have the kids experience actually doing volunteer work,” Gauman said. 
 She said both kids seemed to be enjoying being outside at the park and picking up trash. 
Gauman said she lives close to the park and actually comes by the park a lot, so cleaning up a park they use was a bonus. 
She said she thought the event being hosted by the city was awesome. 
“I wish they would do it more. We’d volunteer more,” Gauman said. “I just feel like we should do it at every park. It’d be a good experience for everybody.”

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