By Kelly Hines
Tulsa, OK (June 30, 2011)- Members of the Tulsa Shock spent Wednesday afternoon working up a sweat, and it wasn’t on a basketball court. Elizabeth Cambage, Kayla Pedersen, Jennifer Lacy and Marion Jones teamed with several season-ticket holders and their children to help Up With Trees clean a Tulsa park as part of the WNBA’s Green Week.
“We don’t get a lot of opportunities like this to rub elbows with our biggest fans, so it’s kind of a double whammy to get to do that and help the environment by doing what we can,” Jones said.
Up With Trees is a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting, preserving and promoting Tulsa’s urban forest. The Shock offered its services, and the group jumped at the chance for more volunteers. “We have a very small staff, so we rely on groups that can actually come out in full force and can donate a lot of muscle power to tending certain parts of Tulsa,” said April Hastings, Up With Trees outreach coordinator. “It’s really wonderful to see a Tulsa team give back.”
The players and fans worked on a park south of 21st Street on the west bank of the Arkansas River, pruning trees, adding mulch and picking up trash.
For 9-year-old Cheyann Parks, the event also provided an opportunity to get closer to some of her favorite players. “I’ve had fun,” she said. “I’ve mulched and cut the trees, and I’ve raked.”
The project allowed Jones to get involved with something she is passionate about off the court – taking care of the environment. “I do what I can at home by recycling, turning off the water, turning off the lights,” she said.
The players got assistance from even the youngest fans Wednesday. Councilor G.T. Bynum’s 4-year-old son, Robert, helped his dad pick up pruned branches. “It’s almost like they’re passing on the legacy by bringing the young fans who watch them play,” Hastings said. “They’re kind of setting the standard that they not only enjoy Tulsa but they also give back to the city they live in.”
Tulsa World- Shock players, fans volunteer with Up With Trees
Up With Trees