TEGA CAY — More than 150 volunteers came together recently to make Tega Cay a better place.
The Beautification Committee of Tega Cay’s annual Tega Cay Spring Pick-Me-Up was held April 27. Volunteers from around the community worked to improve 11 local parks.
Operations Director Tim Gillette said the clean up has expanded since it started more than two decades ago.
“It means we are going to get a lot of work done,” he said. “It’s nice to see volunteers come out. It means the people are still involved in the community.”
The Pick-Me-Up is held each year to coincide with Earth Day, said Jennifer Stalford, who chairs the city’s Beautification Committee. Tega Cay Residents worked throughout the week to improve their property’s appearance leading up to the main event. Volunteers of all ages came together to pick up fallen limbs, prune trees, spread mulch and pick up trash and recycling around the city.
“It’s really cool to see people from different parts of the community meet each other,” Stalford said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
This year, the Committee asked various groups in the community to join in the effort. The Tega Cay Moms & Dads Club, Executive Point Neighbors, Diamond Head Neighbors, Carolina Ski Team and Cub Scouts Pack 250 were among the groups that attended.
“[The groups] helped us boost our numbers,” Stalford said. “It has been very successful.”
The volunteers were treated to a hot dog lunch at noon, sponsored by State Farm Agent Al Patel.
“It’s our way of saying thank you,” Stalford said.
The volunteers ranged in age from 1 year old to more than 60.
“It doesn’t matter if you have green or brown thumb, everyone can come together and make a difference,” Stalford said. “We got a lot of stuff done today.”
Here’s where some of the work took place:
Diamond Head Park
For 7-year-old Andrew Mogge, giving up a trip to a birthday party to help improve his neighborhood was the right thing to do, he said.
Mogge helped his father, Mark Mogge, clean up Diamond Head Park during the annual Tega Cay Spring Pick-Me-Up on Saturday. Andrew said he comes to the park often with his friends.
“I feel like it’s a lot of fun to be in the park,” he said.
Andrew said he wanted to help clean up the park so that the “trash doesn’t kill all the animals” and to alleviate pollution.
“If we don’t clean up the park, then we won’t get a nice park,” he said.
Mark Mogge said his family are friends of Diamond Head Park and trim trees, plant and tend to various plants and pick up liter in the park throughout the year.
“We want to make sure the park is safe for kids to play,” he said.
When Mogge first moved to Tega Cay in 2000, he said Diamond Head Park was overgrown and unsafe. Over the past few years, the park has been transformed, with a new swing set and rock climbing wall added recently. Today, the volunteers created a new mulch pathway for the kids to walk on. “It takes a while to turn a park around,” he said.
Mogge and his family lives right across from Diamond Head. “We treat is like our front yard,” he said.
Tega Cay resident Rhett Trease joined his 18-month-old son Sebastian in helping lay the path at Diamond Head. Trease said his family spends a lot of time in the park.
“We enjoy having the park here and helping take care of it,” he said. “It’s a fun little park.”
Windjammer Park is more like a home for the members of the Carolina Show Ski Team. The Team is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting waterskiing and water safety. The team practices and holds shows at Windjammer every Friday night, team board member Becky Fox said.
Fox, a ski member for more than 15 years, said volunteering in the community is one of the group’s founding principles.
“We feel it’s important to teach good values on and off the water,” she said.
The Team consists of upwards of 40 members. The team had 20 volunteers ranging in age from 3 to 60 years old come out to Windjammer park to help with the Tega Cay Spring Pick-Me-Up. Fox brought both her three sons, 6-year-old Ethan and Hudson Fox and 3-year-old Adam Fox.
Ethan said he came to help clean up the park and to “keep the earth safe and animals protected.”
Fox said she wanted her boys to learn to give back.
“We want to teach the kids to take pride in the community they live in,” she said.
The team worked to improve the park’s pathways, pressure washed the seating areas and cleaned up the park. Though Fox is from Lake Norman, N.C., she has been visiting Windjammer park with the ski team for 10 years.
“We all appreciate the park and want to keep it nice,” Fox said. “We enjoy being part of the community.”
The team’s shows run every Friday at 7 p.m. from June 1 to Aug. 17.
For more information about the ski club, visit carolinashowski.com.
Tega Cay resident and Cub Scout Pack 250 dad Ben Stevens saw the Tega Cay Spring Pick-Me-Up as a chance to teach his son Jack an important lesson.
“We are teaching kids that it is good to volunteer and work as a team,” he said. “We have fun while doing it.”
The Cub Scouts worked to lay new mulch around the crape myrtles at Lookout Park. The pack brought 16 volunteers, both pack scouts and adults, to help improve the park. “We love to volunteer with the park,” Stevens said.
Jack, 7, said he enjoyed making the earth a better place.
“I like to help the environment,” he said. “The earth can be a better place and animals will live better.”
Jack said he also liked getting outside and away from the video games.
Scouts dad Michael Wood said he wanted his son, Jacob Wood, 9, to learn the importance of teamwork.
“It’s a good opportunity to improve the parks,” he said. “Hard work never hurt anybody.”
Wood has been a resident of Tega Cay for 10 years, but the April 27 Pick-Me-Up was his first visit to Lookout Park.
Tega Cay was a nice change for resident Andrew Fisher, who moved to the city from New Jersey.
“We love it,” he said. “It’s a great community.”
Fisher and his son Noah, 8, joined the scouts in laying mulch and trimming branches at Lookout Park.
“It’s a good way to help Tega Cay look nice for residents,” Fisher said.
Fisher said he wanted to show his son that pitching in is something he should do all the time.
“It’s a family event this weekend,” he said.