The University of Dallas men’s lacrosse team continued to show its charitable side, having volunteered with the Keep Irving Beautiful program at T.W. Richardson Grove Park on Saturday, Sept. 30. More than a dozen members of the team showed up to take up the task of helping keep the park clean.
“I was really excited for our guys to get involved in the Irving community because it is the city that we call home, and it is important that they are able to meet other people in the community and create a positive relationship,” Coach Sam Ashton said.
The team arrived at the parking lot between the Maher athletic center and the soccer field at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. When they first got to the park, everyone received equipment: gloves, a retractable claw to pick up trash and recyclable materials with, a trash bag and a recycle bag. Some members of the team were given trash bags, and some recycle bags, so they had to work together for objects that are not supposed to go in their bag.
When asked about his favorite part of the team volunteering with Keep Irving Beautiful, Bogar Trout III replied “Seeing all the different organizations that showed up to the park to help clean it up.”
The group split into separate groups, with about four to five men per group. The first disturbed area that was noticed was a patch of rocks and gravel that was riddled with glass shards The guys at once began to pick up, as many pieces as possible, some even with bare hands and discard them into the recycle bags. The glass pieces most likely came from a couple of bottles.
“We collected a good amount of trash from all over the park, which will help with making the park cleaner,”Bogar Trout III said.
After that, the guys continued their trek around the site and near the roads, digging deep into the trenches, grass, dirt and mud, while picking up as many pieces of trash and recyclable materials as they could. The team then continued to circle around the site, encountering some wildlife such as frogs, various insects, and other animals.
Junior Peter Early said there was an overwhelmingly positive mood.“I would say [we were] very excited, because we just like hanging out with each other, and we also know that we’re here for more than just lacrosse. My favorite part was doing it for the boys on Saturday.”
“I thought our guys did a great job picking up trash and recycling,” Coach Ashton said. “They were enjoying their time, they worked hard, and made a difference, as a majority of the guys filled a couple trash bags each.”
Early said the Keep Irving Beautiful service opportunity is the result of their participation in last year’s event .
“So the way that we found out about it is last year, one of our seniors found out about Keep Irving Beautiful, and contacted Rick Hose. Last year we painted a gazebo at a school, and when I was looking for service opportunities, he was one of the first people that I contacted. We just kept a connection with each other, and he told me about the annual park clean up,” Early said.
Trout III is excited for the next service opportunity to meet an array of organizations. “I’m looking forward to meeting all of the different organizations we will be working with, and all the different tasks we will be faced with,”Trout III said.
Coach Ashton is almost positive their participation in the Keep Irving Beautiful event will become a yearly tradition. “We will most likely participate in this event next year. This is an event that impacts a lot of people, as it is a major park used for running and biking. We have a goal that we are trying to reach as a team this year, and [we] will slowly but surely work our way there.”
For a park that is used for outdoor activities such as running and bicycling, the team’s efforts help keep the park clean and efficiently running, and is certainly appreciated.