The Curry Coastal Pilot

Azalea Park is Brookings' crown jewel andndash; a place that annually attracts thousands of people interested in quiet walks, family picnics, outdoor sports and public events such as Nature's Coastal Holiday, the Azalea Festival, and the American Music Festival summer concert series.

The park wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for hard, physical work of a few city employees and the handful of dedicated volunteers with the Azalea Park Foundation.

On any given day, visitors will likely find Azalea Park Foundation board members Shirley Hyatt and Gil Kirk pulling weeds, hauling dirts and desperately trying to keep up with maintaining the large, sprawling grounds. They are sometimes joined by fellow volunteers.

Since the foundation's inception more than 15 years ago, many volunteers have grown older and are no longer able to weed, hoe, and fertilize. To recruit new volunteers, the foundation holds work parties every other Saturday. The next one is this Saturday. Unfortunately, few accept the invitation.

We know there are plenty of able-bodied people out there who love to garden, or simple love to play in the dirt. Any pair of hands are good hands.

Instead of sitting on the couch watching TV or playing video games, get yourself and your family down to the park and help make a difference. The few aches and pains you get will be well worth the satisfaction you get from keeping our community's crown jewel shining brightly for all to enjoy andndash; now and for generations to come.

To volunteer or for more information about the Azalea Park Foundation, contact Hyatt at 541-469-6159.