As people fill local parks ahead of summer, folks like Tara Moniz can only hope things stay as pristine as it is right now...
"The better (the city) can make the parks, the better it'll be for everybody," she says.
Luckily for Moniz, the city of Richland has found a way to keep our parks clean, while still saving a pretty penny. How's it possible? Think trash. More specifically, the method of getting rid of it.
"The more we can free up staff, they can be taking on stuff that have a good benefit to park users," says Joe Schiessel, Parks and Rec director.
For years, Parks and Rec employees were in charge of cleaning up trash in local playgrounds; something that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in overtime costs every year.
Faced with a tightened budget, Richland Parks and Rec partnered with waste management to handle trash at several of Richland's smaller parks; freeing up employees to work on such things as better landscaping.
The savings to taxpayers? More than 30-thousand dollars.. Not to mention, cleaner parks for families everywhere.
The city of Richland tells us the changes will involve eleven parks around town.