WACO, TX — Local businesses like Pokey O's ice cream are adopting parks for a cleaner Waco, while getting the community involved. Keep Waco Beautiful is breathing new life into the Adopt-A-Park program and Waco community members are laying their claim.
Pokey O’s owner Austin Meek decided to get involved, and adopted Indian Spring Park, when he noticed some unfortunate consequences of his advice.
“We always encourage people to take their treats and walk along the suspension bridge,” Meek said. “Take in the views on the river. But, Julia and Stevie and I would walk along here and the next day, you see some of your own Pokey O’s trash and we realized we were part of the problem and thankfully, through this Adopt-A-Park program we can be part of the solution.”
Ashley Millerd, executive director of Keep Waco Beautiful, says this program isn’t new, but needed a new look. She said, “It's super exciting that we got to redesign and work with parks and really try to boost this program back up to what it used to be a few years ago.”
New signs are popping up throughout Waco, with a fresh look. Over 40 parks are available for adoption and it is free of cost. Contracts last one year and adopters are required to clean up the park at least four times a year.Keep Waco Beautiful, along with Waco Parks and Rec, take care of a lot of the leg work, though. They will take care of erecting the sign for and providing all materials to clean up like bags, pickers, gloves, sunscreen and even water when it’s hot.
For Austin Meek and his wife Julia, the efforts of cleaning up, impact generations. Their biggest example comes from their daughter Stevie.
"It's nice that Stevie gets to see that from her dad...just realizing there is trash and there is something you can do about it."
For more information on Adopt-A-Park and Keep Waco Beautiful, click here.