Davis Police Department, Parks and Community Service Department discuss volunteer opportunities with Willow Creek residents
Tonight from 5-7 p.m., the Davis Parks and Community Service Department and Davis Police Department (DPD) will be holding an information night at Willow Creek Park for their adopt-a-park program. Every three weeks, meetings are held at local parks to inform residents on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.
“Generally, it’s about all the parks but always our focus is the people who live around that park we are doing it in. For instance, Willow Creek Park for this week, we are looking for volunteers for that park…. We will have information about the adopt-a-park adopting a park process, Davis Police Department will be out there with information about how to keep your home safe while you are on vacation,” said Eli Smith, Adopt-a-Park Coordinator for the Parks and Community Service Department.
Smith adds that these events allow community members to meet the people who keep the parks running, including maintenance staff members. Smith explains that they bring props such as lawn mowers and irrigation equipment to demonstrate what goes into keeping up local parks.
Davis Police Department Volunteer Coordinator, Kellie Vitaich, explains that the DPD discusses volunteer opportunities as well as crime prevention and neighborhood watch at the adopt-a-park events.
“Graffiti abatement is an all volunteer endeavor here in Davis so we have a lot of different people and different ways they can help us and part of that is if people are at a park a lot or willing to help clean up graffiti we can train them and give them some of the supplies to do that,” Vitaich said.
Vitaich adds that the events are beneficial because they allow residents to express their concerns. The DPD can then direct residents to the best resources and investigate the situation.
Community Service Superintendent, Christine Helweg, explains that another key aspect to the information nights is to educate residents about the adopt-a-park program which gives individuals and groups in the community the opportunity to take part in park maintenance.
“There are a lot of groups that are interested in doing community service work and this is a way, an official program, we can provide, to support volunteers in the community to assist with park maintenance,” Helweg said.
She adds that the extent to which volunteers contribute to the adopt-a-park program can vary based on the circumstances. Volunteer groups as well as individuals are encouraged to take part in the program.
“It’s really customized to the individual. We have volunteers that do really extensive work in the parks, they’ve created garden areas and things of that nature, whereas others periodically help pick up trash and remove graffiti,” Helweg said. “A lot of them will do occasional, seasonal planting or helping distribute mulch.”
Graphic by Jennifer Wu.