On Sunday, August 3 several volunteers from Opportunity Village in Eugene reported for duty, donned gloves, grabbed cleaning supplies and took on the responsibility of the day to day upkeep of the restroom at Sladden Park. This new pilot program is aimed at keeping the restroom open and safe for the public.
When Opportunity Village board members heard about the restroom being closed at Sladden Park due to city budget cuts, they contacted the City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division to see if they could help. A pilot program was born and today volunteer duties include general custodial work, cleaning, restocking and closing the restroom every night at dusk through the end of October. In addition they are checking for any damage or vandalism and reporting their findings to park maintenance staff. When asked why she volunteers, Rhonda Harding said “To give back to the community that has helped me.”
Prior to the program’s launch, volunteers participated in a training led by park maintenance staff around how restrooms in Eugene’ s parks system are cleaned and maintained and how to use gloves and other protective equipment supplied by the city to stay safe while doing their work. Parks and Open Space Volunteer Coordinator Lorna Baldwin oversees the work of the volunteers and will help evaluate the program on an ongoing basis.