Increase Usage: Volunteer opportunities available with Parks & Rec

Published 5:50 pm Monday, July 17, 2017

As the summer months wane into fall, citizens have been able to fully utilize the services offered at each of the city parks operated by Elizabethton Parks and Recreation.
It has been an exciting trend, according to Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains, stating the department has seen increased traffic over time – especially this year.
But with increased usage comes maintenance and an extra bit of needed love for the parks, and the department is offering opportunities for the public to get involved with their Friends of the Park Program.
“We’ve been so fortunate with the groups that have supported us in the program,” Mains told the Elizabethton Star Monday. “East River Park Christian Church and Hunter First Baptist have been extremely supportive of Parks & Rec. We’ve seen tremendous rewards from the public’s help. From administration to maintenance, the best thing our staff loves is being able to work alongside the public in these different projects.”
Citizens, churches, and nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to do special projects with the Friends of the Park Program at each of the parks located in the city, ranging from Riverside and Kiwanis to Douglas and Covered Bridge parks – and every park in between.
“We feel very fortunate to have been able to work side-by-side with several organizations in recent years that believe in what we do and have made a difference in our community by assisting us with volunteer projects,” Mains said.
Volunteer projects vary from landscaping, erasing any graffiti, mulching, and other types of cosmetic work to each of the parks.
“It’s a great thing to see the public come out to support each of the parks,” Mains said. “We’ve been very lucky to work with some great people. But especially during this time of the year and even fall, we have tons of events coming up, and volunteer opportunities are available. We still have things to be done at each of the parks, and we also have our upcoming Tweetsie Trail Treasure Trip coming up, and we’re hoping to make that into an even bigger event this year.”
Organizations can use the program for team-building exercises, and students looking to clear through volunteer hours can also join in, according to the director.
“That’s definitely an option,” Mains said. “There are so many ideas and plans coming through our department that we’re hoping to pull all the resources that we can. Students that need volunteer hours can come through the department, and we can make sure they meet the criteria they need.”
For more information on the program, call (423) 547-6441.

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