Merrimack Parks and Rec is looking for volunteers to help keep Watson Park clean

Friday, October 19, 2012


Staff Writer

With the explosion of popularity of Watson Park in the heart of downtown Merrimack, town officials are looking for some volunteers to help with clean up of the space.

The Parks and Recreation Department has launched the Adopt-a-Spot at Watson Park program. The 12-acre park, located on Daniel Webster Highway, has seen an increase of use since it opened in 2010. With increased use comes increased trash.

According to Police Chief Mark Doyle, there haven’t been any recent issues at the park.

He said when it first opened, his department received calls about graffiti, but those have since subsided. And as far as the trash is concerned, it’s not that people are littering at Watson Park – there’s an overflow in the garbage cans, he said.

“It’s not a large issue, but we just want to keep it extra clean. More importantly, we want to keep it tax-neutral, which is the whole concept of the park,” said Phil Straight, of the Parks and Recreation Committee, who also is spearheading the Adopt-a-Spot project. “Picking up litter and stuff so Parks and Rec doesn’t have to do it, we thought would be a good program.”

He said a few individuals have already signed up to volunteer, along with the group Merrimack Friends and Family.

Straight noted that the organization is active in town and has helped Watson Park in the past via donations and assisting with the flower garden. He said helping to clean up the park is a good way for people to get some exercise.

The first order of business is sitting down with the Department of Parks and Recreation to create a list of light duties for
volunteers to complete, along with a schedule, Straight said.

He noted that some of the duties could include picking up trash, watering plants and clearing the area of broken glass.

If he has his way, Straight said he will leave it up to the volunteers how often they come down to the park.

“People do a pretty good job of picking up their own trash anyway,” Straight said.

“I think we’ll probably talk to the chosen group about starting out once a month and if it needs to be more, (ask them) ‘Would you be willing to go down every two weeks or even once a week?’ ”

Straight wants to thank everyone for their support of Watson Park.

“Lots and lots of people have stepped up to help,” he said. “It’s going along great. It’s getting so much use we’re probably going to have to think about expanding the parking lot again. I’m very glad that people are enjoying it.”

To participate in the Adopt-a-Spot program at Watson Park, contact Straight at 913-4658 or

Erin Place can be reached at 594-6589 or Also, follow Place on Twitter (@Telegraph_

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