You know how parents say money doesn’t grow on trees? Well they’re still right, but they never said anything about condoms. And in Austin, Texas, condoms do grow on trees.
Austin Health and Human Services employees have been hanging condoms in the trees of Walnut Creek Park for a month. The initiative aimed to promote safe sex, though it was unknown to the HHS director and the city Parks and Recreation Department, according to the Austin American Statesman.
HHS Director Shannon Jones reminded his staff that there is a department “vetting process,” but was vocal in his support of the initiative. The bags hanging from the trees contained not only condoms, but also lube and safe sex information.
“The rates of HIV in our community are high,” Jones said. “We need to use traditional and nontraditional efforts to reduce the spread of disease.”
Employees targeted Walnut Creek Park because their public bathrooms “have always been known as a meeting place for sex,” according to Walnut Creek Neighborhood Association President Robert Meadows.
However, park employees unaware of the initiative took down the bags, considering them litter. While crediting the creativity Austin Parks and Recreation Department Director Sara Hensley wasn’t fully sold on the idea.
“Plastic bags, of course, can fall into the creek and hurt critters,” she said. “Then we found out it was an effort to educate the public about safe sex, which we absolutely support, but I’m not sure hanging something from a tree is the best way to get the message across.”
The decision to continue pursuing this awareness will be made soon, said Hensley. Consider it a lesson that everything you need comes from nature, including condoms.
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