August 2019 Park Angels of the Month: Aqua Angels
Have you ever wondered just how the plants in Charleston’s city parks stay so beautiful in the heat and humidity all summer long? It’s all thanks to a group of volunteers called the “Aqua Angels” This group of volunteers donate their time from April to December watering select parks within the City of Charleston.
Even though The Conservancy carefully selects native and drought-tolerant plants for the parks, they still need a drink. Volunteers have the flexibility to water at times convenient to their schedules and in parks close to their home or work. No experience is needed.
This month we chatted with three of our star Aqua Angels Roy Owen, Abbey Adams, and Erin O’Connor who shared about their experience.
“My wife, Sue, and I initially got involved with the Charleston Parks Conservancy in the planting of McMahon Playground and in the major effort to renovate Colonial Lake – digging in the dirt and planting plants,” shared Roy. “From experience with our own garden, however, we know that the work doesn’t stop with the planting. Plants – particularly in the heat and sandy soil of the Charleston area – have to be watered. And, besides, watering is easier than digging in the dirt,” he said with a smile.
“I started watering at Medway Community Garden because it’s right by my house,” shared Abbey. “I love being able to water on Sunday mornings. It’s a great way to start my day. I’ve learned so much about gardening from participating in Aqua Angels and having a garden plot with The Conservancy. I can actually grow food to feed my family and flowers to feed my soul. “
“I heard about the Charleston Parks Conservancy at a Wagener Terrace Neighborhood Association meeting when the upcoming community garden planned for Corrine Jones Park was discussed,” said Erin. “I’ve been so inspired and impressed with the plantings and future plans for the park, I wanted to be a part of it all!”
When asked why he chose to water in the parks Roy replied, “It is calming. It is therapeutic. It is – at the risk of seeming to overstate – a meditation. One of the great satisfactions about volunteering as an Aqua Angel is having people come up and comment on the beauty of the park or ask questions about the park and the Parks Conservancy. Over the years, Sue and I have watered a total of four parks. In the last two years, we settled on two of those – Hazel Parker Playground and Theodora Park.”
“I think a lot of folks worry about signing up for volunteer positions like the Aqua Angels program because they won’t have time,” shared Erin. “But in reality, it’s a commitment of an hour or less a week and I love every moment of it.”
The Aqua Angels are a great volunteer opportunity for people who have less flexible schedules and need to volunteer at a time that works for them. If you can hold a watering hose, you can help us keep Charleston’s parks blooming and beautiful all year long. If you’re interested in joining the Aqua Angels click the link here.