Weekday Warriors help out Elkhart County parks

Volunteers lay down a bed of mulch in a flower bed near the calendar garden at DeFries Gardens in New Paris.
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Elkhart county parks leaders are looking for a little extra help with a new volunteer initiative known as “Weekday Warriors”.

The group encourages people to help beautify the parks and to explore some of the county land they may have never seen before.
Kim Garey/ Kohl's Associates in Action: “We're used to hard work,” Warsaw Kohl’s employee Kim Garey said.

So, raking some leaves was a breeze for these co-workers. Garey and her coworkers volunteered under the store’s Associates in Action program.

“The greatest thing, when we talk about it at work, is that it gets you out to get to know your peers outside of work,” Garey said.

And outside was exactly where these volunteers found themselves.

“And that's part of the reason why we do it. To stay fit, to be outside and get some fresh air,” Alicia Egbert of Elkhart said.

Today was the first gathering for the group Weekday Warriors. The volunteer group was formed to help beautify some of the county parks in need of a little hard work.

“Because it's a huge garden, and there's minimal staff. One really great way to get out here is to do this. You get to help out and get it ready for the season,” Elkhart County Parks leader Krista Daniels said.

“It takes a lot of maintenance to keep it this way. If there was no maintenance, I can't imagine what this would look like,” DeFries Gardens caretaker Pamela Peterson said.

County parks leaders plan to host one project day every month for the rest of the year.

“Our goal is to get as many people out as we can. At the end of the season, we're planning to have a big warrior party. So, if people want to come every month, that's great. If they want to come just once, that's great too,” Daniels said.

The group meets on the last Wednesday of every month.