Volunteers clean up Ruiz Park Pride: Community effort completed by businesses, the city and help from Southmost area residents. - Brownsville Herald: Local News

Volunteers clean up Ruiz Park Pride: Community effort completed by businesses, the city and help from Southmost area residents.

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2001 12:00 am

By Criselda Valdez

The Brownsville Herald

Southmost residents said good riddance to rubbish Saturday as they gathered at

Ruiz Park to participate in the areas second annual park clean up.

The event, which started at 9 a.m. and lasted until noon, was a joint effort

sponsored by the Brownsville Parks and Recreation Department, Southmost

Community Network Center, Southmost Beautification Committee and Wal-Mart.

The Parks and Recreation Department received a $500 grant from the Wal-Mart on

Expressway 77 Wednesday during the stores grand opening.

Patty Alexander, City Parks and Recreation manager, said the department used

the money for the purchase of two live oaks that were planted in the park

Saturday morning.

The clean up also included painting over graffiti on some of the equipment at

the park, planting hibiscus and sweeping the basketball court.

Volunteers from the Southmost community, mainly children, helped with the

clean up. The children worked hard to dig holes and sweep the area.

Eleasar Salinas, 11, said he was there because I just wanted to help.

Isaac Posada said, I wanted to work.

Posada and Salinas both helped dig holes to plant hibiscus. Posada later

helped paint the swings.

After the trees were planted, benches were installed under or near the trees.

Representatives from Parks and Recreation will be in later to secure the

benches to the ground.Diane McNamara, Parks and Recreation Department event

coordinator, said this clean up is a way of getting the residents to take

ownership of the park.

If they take ownership, theyll look out for the park and hopefully report

any problems, she said.

Many of the citys elected officials were present at the clean up. Mayor

Blanca Vela, City Commissioners Harry McNair and John Wood were present.

Volunteers from the Southmost branch of the city police Department were also

present at the clean up. They cooked 50 pounds of fajitas for volunteers to


This clean up has shown the power of partnership and what can be accomplished

when people get together for a common goal, Lt. William Kingsbury said,

He said this was the police departments way of giving back to the community.

We not only planted trees here today, we planted the seeds of the future

the children who will return and share the memories of today with their


Alexander said the park would see additional renovationn. The Parks and

Recreation Department is planning to install two new basketball posts and

considering having the basketball court resurfaced.