Austin tradition encourages local involvement in litter-filled city parks


Shea Hildebrand / Hilltop Views

“It’s My Park Day” was established over 15 years ago and takes place twice a year on the first Saturday of March and November, according to the Austin Parks Foundation.

On Sat., Mar. 6, Austin Parks Foundation hosted their biggest city-wide volunteer event, “It’s My Park Day.” All around Austin, there were events that volunteers could help from mulching trees and building flower beds around town.

This event is usually a big hit, and many people come out to help clean up the city. Last year, over 3,000 volunteers attended about 100 projects all over town. 

“It’s My Park Day” is a good reminder for the city of Austin to take care of its parks and the land surrounding them. Recently, the Trust for Public Lands ranked Austin 43rd out of 100 U.S. cities on how well the city meets residents’ needs for parks.

This ranking is shockingly low for Austin due to the importance the city puts on sustainability and caring for the nature around us. 

Taking this into account, events like “It’s My Park” day are needed now more than ever in Austin. It is the perfect time for the people of Austin to actually show that they are prioritizing their city’s green thumb and are doing their best to maintain our parks.

When it comes to maintaining our parks, there are simple things people can do that can easily help better our green spaces like picking up after themselves. Austinites should take on the responsibility of picking up after themselves and attempting to maintain clean parks.

It may not seem like it, but trash can build up all around our local green spaces and make our parks look uncared for, hurting the environment as a result.

By not picking up after ourselves, we can hurt the environment by leaving trash for other people or animals to pick up. Leaving our parks unkempt can make them less appealing to go to. 

Not picking up after ourselves may seem like a trivial thing, but people don’t realize how the little things can help better our parks. It is little things like picking up trash that we see or making sure that our parks are left the way we found them can help make our greenlands more suitable for Austin residents.

Events like “It’s My Park Day” are important to remind people to take on the simple responsibility of doing their best to maintain their parks. Volunteering last Saturday was a great start to try and claim responsibility for taking care of our earth.

It is important to stress the idea of Austinites taking care of their city because over 17 million people visit Austin yearly. Our parks will be here for years to come so it is important to invest time and care into them to make sure that they can thrive and be as appreciated as they are intended in a city who prides themselves on having such a green thumb.