Volunteers pitch in to get H-F parks ready for summer

After a long, long winter, the parks in Homewood and Flossmoor got their annual spring cleaning on Saturday, May 5. 

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Recreation Supervisor Joe Deciccio said more than 400 volunteers descended upon 30 parks and got them ready for the summer season. 

"We wouldn't be able to do it without the volunteers," he said. 

The Park Pride event has been going for 32 years now, he said. Every year, individuals and organizations meet at the parks to remove the detritus left behind by the winter months, from sticks and twigs to bits of trash. They spread fresh mulch, plant flowers and generally get the parks looking their best before usage increases for the summer.

Chris Schmitt, who with her daughter, Renee Schumacher of Cincinnati, Ohio, was sprucing up Pinehurst Park in Flossmoor, said she has been helping tend the park for at least a decade. 

Pinehurst is a small park that's off the beaten path, but it is important to her neighborhood. She said the park had fallen into disrepair years ago, and she approached the H-F Park District and asked for improvements. She said neighbors agreed at the time to pitch in and help tend the park. 

At Heritage Park, the preschool and kindergarten students of Hello Montessori School and their parents were planting flowers to beautify the park that is just across the street from the school's home in St. Andrew Methodist Church in Homewood.

"We do this every year," teacher Nataliee Mish said. "We use the park for play time, and we like to give back. And they love digging in the dirt."

Indian Trails Park in Homewood was receiving attention from members of Girl Scout Troop 65113. 

Park Captain Renee Miller directed the girls and parents in general park clean up and flower planting. 

At 11 a.m., many of the volunteers convened at Irwin Park in Homewood for a well-earned lunch. Kids were treated to food and dancing with Seymour the Eagle, a park department mascot, who reminds park users to "see more" and report any problems they find, from damaged equipment to vandalism, so the park district can address the issue.

 

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