In 2008, our youth-mentors were looking for a way to “give back to the community that has given them so much (community support to keep our programs free for families)”. Thus, a partnership with the City of Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation and the Audubon Society was established and Youth Odyssey adopted Blucher Park. Here’s a link to an article the CallerTimes did on our project back in the early days.
Blucher Park was chosen because it’s a critical stop-over for migrating birds who pass through the area; and people from all over the world come to Corpus Christi to see them. Youth Odyssey’s mentor program holds bi-monthly workdays where we help remove invasive species, pick up trash, create and mulch trails, beautify, remove invasive species, plant native species, learn about the flora and fauna, and whatever else the park needs.
Blucher Park has had many volunteer groups offering assistance and Richard Thompson, past City employee, mentioned that he often “had to send his staff to go and ‘fix’ what other volunteer groups have done… This is not the case with Youth Odyssey. They are a thorough and hardworking bunch that produce quality work”.
Karen Smith of the Audubon Society now oversees the mentor project and “is constantly impressed of how hard the youth work and how much they get done every time they come out to the park.”
The mentors themselves really enjoy going to the park. It gives them a chance to make their mark in Corpus Christi, spend day outside, and hang out with each other. Youth Odyssey is blessed to have such a wonderful bunch of youth who are not afraid to get their hands dirty. As a non-profit, we value all of our partnerships here in the Coastal Bend.
“This is one way that I can give back to the people who have sent me to camp year after year. It’s the least I can do to say thank you!” – youth mentor