On May 12, nine IXL employees, along with other community volunteers, gathered at the base of a hill in Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their mission was to help rescue the park’s native plant life from invasive species, as part of an ongoing effort to make Dorothea Dix Park a sustainable part of the Raleigh landscape.
IXL volunteers helped uproot and remove invasive vines that had smothered local trees, as well as gather branches and even entire trees that had been killed. They also moved the plant debris to the bottom of the hill for easier pick-up by park employees.
By the end of the morning, IXLers had cleared a sizable gap in a space once completely choked by weeds and vines. Even the local wildlife was pleased to see the progress, as both a hawk and a groundhog made an appearance to inspect the results of the volunteers’ efforts.
“I enjoyed being outside and getting some exercise during this volunteer outing,” said IXL software engineer Merrick Brown. “It was very rewarding to see the progress we were able to make.”
Dorothea Dix Park was previously the site of a psychiatric hospital named for mental health advocate Dorothea Dix. The city purchased the land in 2015 and turned it into what is now Raleigh’s largest park. The revitalization of the local ecology is part of an ongoing process to transform Dorothea Dix Park into a destination for outdoor recreation for individuals and families in Wake County and beyond.
For more information about Dorothea Dix Park, please visit http://dorotheadixpark.org, and to get involved with the Raleigh parks department, check out their volunteering opportunities.
By Zack MacHardy, Software Engineer