Sprucing up Westgate Park

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Before she began volunteering with Friends of Westgate Park, Dheeman Siad said she had not given much thought to the work that goes into the beautification of the community staple. “I have always enjoyed walking its pathways and looking at the flowers beds,” said the westside resident, “but I never imagined all the work that it entails to keep it looking so nice.” After signing up to volunteer this year, however, she discovered “all that it entails” as she found herself covered in dirt and partially drenched with rain as she helped plant flowers and add layers of mulch to the beds on Park Work Day. “It’s not the best weather,” she said, referring to the steady rain and cooler temperatures on June 13, “but it’s nice to know that you have had a hand in beautifying a park that so many people enjoy.”
Jillian Manning, a member of the Friends of Westgate Park board, prepares to gently go to battle with a container desperately holding onto a lantana. She said she enjoys being a part of the non-profit volunteer group that adds and maintains beds, creates new pollinator habitats, cleans up litter and raises funds for park improvements.
Volunteer Steve Boutros adds mulch to one of the beds near the enclosed shelter house. The coneflowers were very appreciative of the new layer, which will protect them from the sight of noxious weeds.
Tom Price makes the pansies happier with some attention.
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