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This park isn't going to weed itself...

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Just like your lawn at home (or that tiny patch of sod outside your front door if you live inside the Loop), Buffalo Bayou Park requires continual maintenance to keep its green spaces looking sharp. So much maintenance, in fact, the team of 24 full-time landscapers often has to rely on help from their fellow Houstonians to make sure invasive species aren't crowding out the 30 varieties of native plants that call the park home.

"So instead of mowing, we have to manually pull weeds by hand," parks director Gregg Burks told us in the February issue of Houstonia, which spotlights the 160-acre park along Buffalo Bayou. "In the summertime, the weeds and vines get out of control, and so we also rely on the additional help of more than 3,000 volunteers."

It's technically not summertime yet, but you wouldn't know that from the weather. A temperate winter combined with heavy recent rains means there's plenty of cleaning up to do around the park, and your opportunity to be one of those 3,000 volunteers is coming up tomorrow, Feb. 18, when Buffalo Bayou Park holds a Volunteer Workday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Water Works off Sabine St. and to bring their own gloves. All other tools will be provided (though we suggest adding sunscreen and bug spray to your own arsenal of tools) for a morning of weeding, mulching, trash pick-up and other beautification work.

You'll need to fill out a volunteer waiver ahead of time, both for yourself and any kiddos you're bringing along. That's right: children ages 9 and up are welcome to help out, and we can't think of a better way to burn off some excess energy while teaching your little ones the value of civic pride and good, hard work.

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