Keeping Austin Beautiful

Y&R Austin encourages its employees to be active members of our Austin community by offering a yearly “volunteer day” to be used either at a company-wide activity or at an organization of our choice.

At the end of 2017, we had the opportunity to team up with Keep Austin Beautiful to clean up Bartholomew Park, one of Austin’s local parks. After a quick meet-and-greet with our two Keep Austin Beautiful team leaders, we were tasked with picking up as much litter as we could from the Tannehill Branch Creek that flows through the park. Armed with plenty of trash and recycle bags, gloves, trash grabbers and willing hands, we immediately got to work.

Due to the recent floods, we found many items we weren’t expecting to see. “Car parts seemed random … how did they get in the creek, when they’re so heavy?” said Diane Bell. While the city of Austin has attempted to decrease the level of destruction caused by flooding, the solution implemented has raised a new issue. “While helping with flooding, the natural grasses propagated around the creek also hid most of the litter around and in the creek. This makes the park look much nicer but also hides the problem,” said Brooke Rickard.

In spite of the nature of our task, for Cristina Blanco-Adams, the trip to the creek was a trip back in time. “I used to play and swim at that park, so it felt good to help my childhood community,” she said. Within just two short hours, our team collected 300 lbs. of trash and 20 lbs. of recycling from the creek! “While we made a big impact, there was so much more that we weren’t able to get to. It was really eye-opening to see how much trash ends up in a creek that becomes part of our water source,” said Sarah Dillon. We look forward to more opportunities to help our local community stay beautiful.

Visit Keep Austin Beautiful to learn more about their mission and the programs and events they manage year-round.

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Y&R Austin getting trashy