Volunteer Clean Up at Mike Zepeda Park Catches On - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Volunteer Clean Up at Mike Zepeda Park Catches On

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Folks living near Sunnybrook are enjoying the Mike Zepeda Park thanks to continuing improvements that have brought the park back to life.

"I'm trying to spread out some mulch to help it be a little more safe for the kids," said Sean Thorson, a volunteer from Keller Williams Realty.

Under the hot South Texas sun, the volunteers rolled up their sleeves to make a difference.

"I used to come to this park growing up almost every day until it might have gone bad for a while, but that's why we're here today," volunteer Jonathan Barrera said. "To try and clean it up."

Barrera said he was among the first to volunteer to clean up the park.

"It was covered in graffiti for awhile. Stray dogs everywhere. Broken fences," Barrera said. "But you know, nothing hard work can't fix."

No job is too big for Ethan Thorson, who provided a kid's perspective on the cleanup.

"I think that we need to put mulch everywhere, because they're going to get sticker burrs on their feet and their shoes," Ethan Thorson said.

"This is a 100-percent volunteer," City Councilman Chad Magill said. "No City funding involved; but you buy a couple of cases of water for people and some sunscreen, and we're just proud to work with the neighbors, and we're proud to work with people who care."

The spruce up effort at Mike Zepeda Park started last month with a dozen volunteers. The effort was so rewarding, they came back again.

"I was out this morning walking and riding my bike, and noticed these guys were working out here," said Torres, who lives near the park. "These guys are trying to help the community out and beautify this park and stuff, so I said, hey, this is my park as well, so I picked up the rake and got at it."

City Parks and Recreation provided the mulch, and volunteers and residents provided the sweat equity. Now, they are hoping the clean up catches on at parks all across the city.