Ann Richards Students Volunteer at Circle Acres Nature Preserve

Erin Lungwitz, Staff Writer


As part of the Day of Caring sponsored by United Way, Ann Richards students volunteered all over Austin. One of the projects was stationed at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve (a landfill turned into a park) where students pulled invasive weeds (specifically Johnson grass), and picked up trash.

“There are many kinds of weeds that are invasive to Texas,” said senior Savannah Pena, “they don’t grow here, they’re taking over and they’re really harmful to the other kinds of plants that actually grow here [Texas], so we’ve got to remove them to save everything else.”

ARS students pulled weeds to make room for native Texan plants and to provide space for a  trail.

“They’re trying to clear that field for a new trail, so joggers and bikers can go there and have  a community space,” stated senior Summor Eliot.

Aside from helping the Austin community, students said they learned about themselves and different types of Texan plants.

“I am not a weed-pulling gal, that’s for sure,” stated sophomore Shahar Pedazhur, “Oh, I learned that poison ivy has three leaves on each plant, and that they aren’t symmetrical.”

The group of girls picking up trash reflected on littering.

“I learned that people are still kind of messed up, and throw toilets on land,” stated senior Ana Martinez.

Members of the Austin Parks Department and Ecology Action led Ann Richards Students in their service at Circle Acres.

“My favorite part was getting to see how passionate the head volunteers were about what they did and how important it was to them to clean up this area [Circle Acres Nature Preserve] to make it a park for the community,” said senior Idalis Maldonado.

Check back to ARS Polaris Press for more Day of Caring (ARS students call this day the Great Day of Service) coverage.