Knocking it out of the Park!

Auburndale Park cleanup crew“I have before and after pictures. I think it’s clearly visible what an improvement it is.”

Louisville Parks & Recreation Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Cox was grateful for all of the helping hands Louisville Water provided on Saturday to spruce up Auburndale Park in South Louisville.

This was the second year that Louisville Water’s Executive Union Management Alliance Council (EUMAC) tackled the task of cleaning up one of the city’s 120 parks.

Local 1683 President Adam Carter set the bar a little higher, choosing a larger park than last year. The group rose to the challenge of a lofty to-do list.

“There was supposed to be a right of way for the neighborhood to go to walk into the park, but it was overgrown with trees and brush. We cleared it out to where now people can walk through there,” Carter said.

before and after of the Auburndale Park cleanup

Workers sanded and painted picnic benches, picnic tables, and the pavilion area.

Auburndale Park cleanup

Carter said, “We pressure-washed it (pavilion) because there was a whole bunch of birds’ nests, bird droppings all over the place. We replaced a board or two as well and painted it.”

Perhaps the biggest job though- “Had to be the mulch pile,” said Kendall Boyd, Manager of Employee and Labor Relations. “It went from a mountaintop to a plateau, so that’s pretty impressive. It took everybody’s work to do that.”

New mulch blanketed the playground. Crews used the leftover piles to surround trees in the park. When you throw in cleaning off the tennis courts and picking up trash throughout the park, a lot was accomplished within a matter of hours.

“There’s no way the parks department can do it alone, so we really need the help of local businesses and everyone in the community,” Cox shared, adding she was thankful for Louisville Water to volunteer.

“Every facet of this community is touched by Louisville Water. I think it’s our duty to go out and help clean up, let the community know that we’re here. We don’t just deliver water. We deliver service. We deliver compassion, empathy, and love. This is community love right here,” Boyd said.

Carter agreed, saying events like this are important for Local 1683 members and Louisville Water leaders to do together.

“It gives back to the community and that’s what Louisville Water Company is all about and Local 1683 as well. It also helps union and management and non-union (employees) work together and see that we’re all here for a common good. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

It’s definitely a win for the parks and the community members who enjoy them.

“You all (Louisville Water) knocked it out of the ballpark!” Cox chuckled.