Written by Phil Cerroni
By Clyde and Beca DeLoach
Greg McCarthy, a regular runner at the Lively Park Jogging Trail, has enjoyed the one mile cinder trail for over thirty years. McCarthy likes to pick up litter along the trail as he runs. It makes the park look more attractive, and he finds that in bending down to pick up the litter he adds variety to his run as he stops, stoops, and scoops.
When asked why he breaks stride to grab a bit of trash, he said, "I like to make a place a little nicer for my having been there."
McCarthy is often seen picking up commonly found items such as non-recyclable packaging, as well as recyclable water bottles and aluminum cans, and biodegradable matter such as a branch from an oak tree. Although the Irving Parks and Recreation Department is very good at maintaining the park, trash does often clutter the trail and the adjacent park land. But with Greg cleaning up the park on his daily runs, the City workers spend less time maintaining this popular park. The Lively Park Jogging Trail, a real jewel in the City's park system, is nestled among oak trees along the western bank of the Delaware Creek and the northern property line of De Zavala Middle School. Entrance to the park's parking lot is from Blaylock Street off MacArthur between Pioneer and Grauwyler. The park is across the creek from Lively Pointe Recreation Center, and it is close enough that the track team from Irving High can sprint over from their school campus.
This peaceful park has long been a favorite destination spot for residents of south Irving because of the soft surface and the absence of traffic. The lighted trail attracts runners and walkers all day long--even before sunrise and after sunset. For those who want to do some calisthenics, the park has a large workout station. Many of the runners/walkers are regulars who know each other by sight if not by name. Everybody who frequents the Lively Park Jogging Trail around 7 a.m. recognizes Greg and appreciates the work he does.