'Sale' spurs BA cleanup efforts
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 16, 2012
12/16/12 at 2:59 AM
Broken Arrow: Read previous stories related to Broken Arrow and get contact information for Broken Arrow officials.
BROKEN ARROW - Jeff and Susan Wright's son had played tennis at their neighborhood park since he was 3.
When they heard that a neighborhood beautification group would buy a commemorative sign to put there two years after Jason's death - and that the couple would only have to vow to keep the park clean - they jumped at the chance.
"I thought what a perfect thing," Susan Wright said. "We pick up trash when we come here anyway."
The sign, installed Friday at Timberbrook Park as part of Broken Arrow's adopt-a-mile program, bears the website address for the clothing company the Wright family recently founded in memory of their athletic, 25-year-old son: JasonGear Athletic Apparel.
"We had a lot of memories here," Susan Wright said. "We played tennis here together. It was just perfect."
The Broken Arrow "Adopt-a-Mile/Park/Trail" program has overseen the adoption of more than half of the city's eligible streets, 15 of its 23 parks and all of its jogging trails, said Roger Finn, a founding member of Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful volunteer group, which coordinates the program along with the city.
Another eight residents, organizations and companies have joined since Dec. 1 as the group has advertised a monthlong offer to pay the $25-$50 fee the city charges to make and install the signs, group spokeswoman Peggy Striegel said.
The "sale," as Striegel calls it, is a way to increase interest in what was once the group's foundational program at a time when sales are on people's minds, she said. Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful's four founding volunteers inherited the program from the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce after forming the group in 2007.
"I was just looking at everything and saw Cyber Monday and Black Friday and thought, 'We can have a sale.' Why not?" Striegel said.
Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful has grown to about 250 volunteers since its founding and has added five programs aimed at keeping public areas clean and improving the look of neighborhoods, she said.
The group has won six statewide awards since 2009, including two for a "Beauty Patrol" program that assigns volunteers to take notes on the condition of right-of-ways for maintenance crews.
Susan Wright said the city has done well maintaining her neighborhood's park at 1315 N. 52nd St., but she wants to help where she can in her son's name. Per the adopt-a-mile requirements, the family has committed to cleaning the park at least four times a year.
Jason Wright, a 2003 Broken Arrow graduate, died in 2010 from what was likely a brain hemorrhage, his father said.
An All-State tennis player in high school, he played for Oklahoma State University and was inducted into the Broken Arrow schools' Athletic Hall of Fame this year.
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
Susan and Jeff Wright stand by the sign put up in honor of their deceased son Jason in Timberbrook Park in Broken Arrow on Friday. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World