Volunteers lend a hand to Parks & Rec.

By: Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation

The largely under-the-radar efforts of the volunteers for the Parks and Recreation Department help with all kinds of tasks, like weeding, trash pickup and summer camps. At least once a month (sometimes two three times a month), volunteers contact the department to see what needs to be done, and there’s always something that needs to be done.

Some are regulars like the group from the Aegis Technical Representative, Combat System Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) under the leadership of Operations Specialist First Class Jordan Johnston. This group of naval officers started volunteering in 2018, painting interior and exterior spaces, picking up trash, weeding and mulching. They average a project every 30 to 45 days. Most recently, they picked up trash along the banks of Strawbridge Lake on the Haines Drive side. They also just weeded around the volleyball courts at Jeff Young Memorial Park. We are always grateful for their service to the country and to our small town.

Over the winter, the brush around Strawbridge Lake was cut back a couple of feet exposing a lot old garbage and debris. Thanks to volunteers from Allstate Insurance and TruMethods, both local businesses, almost the entire perimeter of the lake has been cleared of trash.

Destination Maternity, who has its corporate headquarters in Moorestown, had a group of twelve people spruce up Fullerton Park for four hours. They cleaned up the area leading to the playground.

“It made a very noticeable difference at the park,” Rich Corbin of the Parks and Recreation Department said. “The flowerbed area gets overgrown. Public works delivered some mulch after they were done weeding and they wheelbarrowed it over and spread it. There were seven bags of weeds and debris that I picked up from the site and took to public works.”

Corbin said all the parks need weeding, trash pickup, and maintenance around signage, and volunteers make a big difference.

“It’s a help to the whole town,” Corbin said.

This summer there are 55 summer camp volunteers and counselors in training (CITs). They are an integral part of the success of the town’s summer camps – from special needs camp to the helping out at Baker, Roberts and the Upper Elementary schools. CITs are 14- to 15-years-old and are interested in leadership. They apply for the position, have a formal interview and are mentored. They develop work skills and professional behavior and serve as role models for the younger campers. It is a fun and valuable community service to ready them for the future. Thanks to all our volunteers for making our programs and parks shine.