Steve Immel is like a lot of people in Colorado Springs. He works in the software industry in business development. He is raising a family. And he loves his neighborhood park.
Immel and his family live adjacent to Judge Lunt Park on the northside at Rangewood Drive and Austin Bluffs Parkway.
A few weeks ago, city parks employees removed the park’s trash cans in a citywide cost-cutting move. They took 396 cans from 128 neighborhood parks.
Immel was worried.
He didn’t want Judge Lunt to become trashy. So he got busy. He called the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department and volunteered to adopt the park’s trash cans. The city embraced the idea and modified the Adopt a Park program to include trash cans.
(Of course, the city wants everyone to fill out an application. But it’s quick and painless.)
Then he built a Web site, which he calls the Proud of Our Parks Initiative, and began recruiting others to patrol their own parks.
His army started growing quickly. Already, the city says volunteers have adopted 47 cans in 23 parks.
Immel has partnered with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and raising money in hopes of paying for the trash can liners for the volunteer army. The city typically spends more than $5,000 a year on liners.
If enough money is raised, perhaps trash companies can be recruited to collect bags of trash for a reduced fee, he said.
Immel is leading an army I’d be glad to join!