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Women Go On ‘Drought Patrol’ To Save Local Park

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Nearly every city park in Dallas is suffering some sort of damage due to severe drought conditions. But one park in Oak Cliff is managing to survive thanks to a group of volunteers who went on a sort of drought patrol.

If you drive by Twin Falls Park in southwest Oak Cliff you might catch a glimpse of the drought busters.

The group of women may be near retirement age, but they have no plans on letting their beloved park retire on them.

“This park is important to me,” drought buster Aurae Hannah said adamantly. “I moved here in ‘77 and my kids grew up here. This was their park.”

A ‘movement’ that started just this past Spring has turned the park from a brown, dusty and dry, to green, rich and flourishing.

“It makes your neighborhood and everything around it look better,” drought buster Ella Stratford said.

Twin Falls Park was quite a rosy picture, until a relentless sun and a lack of rain put their flowers and bushes on life support.

Drought buster Pat Gurson recalled how the mission started. “It just got hotter and hotter and I said, ‘we got to take turns and get up there and water’.”

So, in the dead of summer, with no sprinklers, garden hose or irrigation system, the ladies went back to the basics to keep the plants alive — they used milk jugs.

Sometimes they came together… sometimes alone, but just about every day during the Summer, someone from the tight-knit group carried jugs of water from their home and gave the plants a much-needed drink.

“We have certain days when we come,” drought buster Gene Buchanan said of the system. “Maybe, I can’t come this time, but Ella can. That’s really how it kind of got started.”

The flowers may not be blooming now and the bushes have seen better days, but they made it through one of the worst North Texas Summers ever and it’s all thanks to some dedicated women with green thumbs and hearts of gold.

“I think it shows the community something about the people who live here,” drought buster Doris O’Bannon said proudly.

The mission undertaken at Twin Falls Park may be one that will have to be repeated there and across North Texas. Weather experts predict the current drought will last another year.

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