On Saturday May 15th, the Dawoodi Bohras of Austin and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met in Windermere Park, Pflugerville to clean up the park, creek and Gilleland Creek Trail. At the heels of Earth Day, both communities felt that it was important to help out.
Mubaraka Malbari, representative for the Dawoodi Bohra community of Austin, said, “The Dawoodi Bohras are firm believers in protecting the natural environment and living sustainably. As part of our global initiative – Project Rise – Bohras all over the world work hard to keep local parks and waterways clean, and we are delighted to partner with our friends at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to play our part to keep Windermere Park looking its best.”
Gilleland Creek flows into a waste water recycling plant. Eddie Garcia from the Parks and Recreation Department shared that trash often collects at the base of the plant and creates a dam that could be harmful. This park, particularly the creek, is tucked away and sees quick accumulation of litter so volunteers are critical to keeping things clean.
On a cloudy day in May, around 50 volunteers from both communities joined forces and got to work. The event kicked off with an overview of the park and instructions for the clean up from Mr. Garcia. He is passionate about his work and empowered all the volunteers to do their best. With this shared goal, 2,055lbs of trash was collected. That included:
- 73 bags (25 lbs/bag) = 1,825 lbs
- 1 tire = 100 lbs
- 1 muffler = 80 lbs
- 1 rear bumper = 50 lbs.
Emily Miller, the communication director for several congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Austin, said, “Our members were excited to have this opportunity to serve in the community with our new friends and neighbors from the Dawoodi Bohras of Austin. During a time when society at large is divided on many issues, it was inspiring to see our faith communities unite toward achieving a common goal of being good neighbors and good citizens.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints often partners with the Parks and Recreation Department and other government entities, churches, and non-profit organizations, as charity work is an important part of their faith. “We believe that the entire human family are all brothers and sisters, and we strive to love and help and serve one another,” says Miller.
The two communities celebrated a successful clean up with popsicles to cool off and spent time chatting and learning more about each other’s faiths. The Dawoodi Bohra’s will be building a new mosque next to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Pflugerville location. The new neighbors will partner on future events as much as they can. “Bringing different faiths together, being part of the community is important to us as it gives us a greater sense of humanity. While we may be different, we have so much more in common. Those similarities bring us closer together,” says Malbari.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Murray Photography.