Kristian Vargas and her new mom support group, the Walking Miracles of Turlock, are frequent visitors to city parks. Recently the group decided to give back to the public spaces they’ve been enjoying so much by becoming the newest partners of the City’s Adopt a Park program.
“It’s a good way to help the community and clean up a place where our kids actually spend a lot of time at,” said Vargas.
The Walking Miracles of Turlock adopted both Brad Bates Park and Curt Andre Park. On Sept. 7, the group — along with City Council member Nicole Larson — spent the day sanitizing playground equipment, raking leaves, filling in sand at volleyball pits, painting barbecue areas and picking up trash.
“It was a great experience. It was great to work alongside a group that finds it important to keep our parks beautiful. Even the creation of the group is something to applaud – a group of women who are supporting other women. I would love to see clubs and groups, people from all spectrums, come together to help support our parks,” said Larson.
The Walking Miracles of Turlock join the other groups and individuals who decided to take an active role in up-keeping a city park.
In March, the Sikh Community of Turlock became the first group to join the City’s Adopt-A-Park program, volunteering a year of service to Donnelly Park. Other park partners include: Turlock Lion’s Club (Crane Park), John Snoke (Rotary Park) and New Hope Church (Columbia Park).
Parks analyst Juan Vargas said there three more partnerships in the work with the Rotary Club, Brad Bates and Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
The Turlock City Council implemented the Adopt-A-Park program last May, giving local community groups the opportunity to be recognized for their efforts in keeping City parks clean. While many organizations, including fraternities, sororities, services providers and businesses, have volunteered their time and resources over the years to help maintain a vibrant park system in Turlock, this the first time there’s been a formal program.
There are three levels of sponsorship available through the program, ranging from one-day clean-ups to the donation of structures, and, of course, the actual adoption of a park with a commitment of four services projects a year.
Those who formally adopt a park receive recognition on the City’s social media pages, as well as a ceremony in their honor that includes the unveiling of an official Adopt-A-Park sign with their group’s name on it.
“It started a little slow…but as the word got out and people saw it on social media people asked how can they can get involved,” said Vargas.
By early next year, Vargas said they will probably have 10 parks adopted out of the City’s 25 total parks. The City is also looking into expanding the program to include adoption of the bike paths off Taylor Road and the bike park.
The four work days or projects that come with the park adoption process are a big help to the City, said Vargas.
“It definitely helps us out as a department. Each time a group commits to this, there’s a lot of little things these groups can do that allows us to focus on the bigger tasks,” he said.
Those interested joining the Adopt-A-Park program can contact Vargas at 209-668-6013.