Each year, the Austin Parks Foundation mobilizes thousands of volunteers across the city to improve parks and greenbelts throughout the city in their biggest volunteer event, It’s My Park Day. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, March 7, 2015. In 2014, volunteers contributed enough volunteer labor to represent over one quarter of a million dollars for Austin’s parks.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions about It’s My Park Day:
Who can volunteer for It’s My Park Day?
Individuals, families, friends—everyone is welcome to volunteer. If a volunteer is 15-years-old or under, they must have their parent or guardian accompany them to the park project and sign a Minor Liability Waiver on the day of the event. Teens 16-18 can have a parent or guardian sign the minor liability waiver, present that waiver to the Park Project Leader at the beginning of the project start and can volunteer on their own.
Can I earn service hours?
Yes, absolutely. If you know you will need documentation for your service hours, please request that form in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have your own form, bring it to your project, let your Project Leader know when you arrive that you are earning service hours and have them sign the form at the end of the project.
Can I register for myself and guests?
Yes, you may register for a group, but if you do wish to register a group, you will receive an email with a link to complete volunteer registration by providing names and email address for group members. Contact information will need to be received prior to It’s My Park Day.
How do I pick a project?
We recommend either choosing a project in a park that is geographically close to where you live, or a type of project, like mulching or habitat restoration, that particularly interests you.
Do I need to bring my own supplies?
When you sign up for a project, you will see a note to dress for the weather, wear closed-toed shoes, bring a water bottle to refill and sun protection, like a hat. Bringing your own favorite work gloves is strongly recommended, but we will have inexpensive work gloves for most volunteers. Should your volunteer leader need additional supplies for the project like wheelbarrows or shovels, you may receive an email closer to the day of the project and if you have tools to bring, it always helps!
If you know that you are highly allergic to bee or wasp stings, bring your Epi-pen, the name and phone number of your doctor, and notify the Project Leader in advance of the project.
If you know you are highly allergic to poison ivy, purchase and apply a preventative solution to exposed skin before you start working. If it is a project that may cause you to come in contact with poison ivy your Project Leader will have packets of Tecnu after-wash solution you can take home with you. Please follow the instructions on the packet.
What should I wear for It’s My Park Day?
Dress for the weather and the project—most require closed-toed shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirt. Sun or rain protection is a great idea, depending on the weather.
What happens if it rains on March 7?
Most projects are rain (light or intermittent) or shine. If it is raining hard at the start time of a project, we wait an hour, and if it looks like it will not let up (major storm) then your project is will happen the following day, Sunday March 8, at the same time. Some Project Leaders have designated the following Saturday, March 14 as their rain date. If it rains all weekend, and you have a mulch project, please contact the Project Leader or keep an eye out for an email from them in order to reschedule the project. Your assistance is GREATLY appreciated with completing tree mulching projects! Bring a friend or two!