NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It was one year ago this month a small core group of concerned parents formed the grass roots group, Parks Advocacy League in Nacogdoches.
On Friday, PAL's birthday celebration was held - you guessed it - at a park.
Countless birthday parties have happened at Pecan Park's Pavilion, but PAL's one-year birthday is one celebration that benefits the entire city of Nacogdoches.
"It's been community effort to get us this far and it's just been really exciting,” said Michelle Cox, PAL's vice president.
Looking back, PAL's first goal of raising donations for fees to establish non-profit filings was reached within two weeks. More people than expected said yes to helping out Nacogdoches parks.
"This year's ParkFest we had about 500 people attend and it really drew some attention to the Parks Advocacy League,” said Lindsay Earle, a PAL board member. “We're always looking for new volunteers."
PAL's project of the year will remain improvements at the Temple Spray Park. After all, that's how PAL began when the conversation turned to making comparisons with other cities.
"Like Lufkin has two or three where people can go to cool off in the hot summer,” Earle said. “We don't have that."
Once full non-profit status is obtained, volunteers will apply for grants. If successful. Maybe Temple Spray Park will get covered park benches, a fence, and new water slides.
"And just update the park and make it user friendly for everyone,” Earle said.
"We need more brains to help give more ideas and feedback and skills just as far as writing grants or organizing community events,” Cox said.
But the modest-sized group will remain hard workers. They've hosted Family Fun Clean-Ups at local parks, grown an admiring Facebook audience, and routinely have PAL in the Parks play dates.
A full schedule of the PAL in the Parks Summer Series is viewable at its