Artisan turns gourds into birdhouses in support of Llano Parks Project


LLANO — The gourds came out this month, but a select few in Llano won’t be used as Halloween decorations. Instead, Sherry Simpson is turning them into birdhouses to serve another purpose.

“My personal desire is to use my craft to help my community,” said Simpson, whose decorative gourds help support the nonprofit Llano Parks Project.

The gourds — on sale at the new Phunky Phoenix and Roots at 102 Legion Drive — are one way Llano Parks Project organizers hope to bring even more beauty to the city’s landscape.

Vivian Koerner, vice president of the organization, said the group came to life after she and others went to the city to see how they could best improve some of the parks. Some positive responses from a Facebook page led to the formation of the nonprofit.

“What we would like to do, and we have to wait for the city manager’s approval, is have a bench at Moore Field,” Koerner said. “There’s a playscape but no place to sit.”

From a bench to even larger plans, Koerner said the group has grand ideas, including playscapes and an indoor swimming pool.

“We would love to put $100,000 into our parks,” she said.

Koerner said she would like to see things such as a splash pad at one of the city’s parks and a sandy beachfront along the river.

“We would love to have another voice in the community,” Koerner said. “We constantly want to continue growing, and we can’t if we’re not open to new ideas.”

Board meetings are open to anyone interested and held on the first Tuesday of the month. Visit for more information.