Teams of students spread out across the wooded areas of campus on March 20, equipped with black gardening gloves, a knowledgeable landscaping services staff member and a goal: beautify the campus while reducing the risk of fire hazard. The more than 100 students who participated in this year’s Spring Work Day represented many of the university’s Greek organizations as well as the newly rebranded CHARGE Emerging Leaders program (formerly LEAD).
Twice each year, as part of the Adopt-an-Area Program, students gather to clear fallen limbs and trees from wooded areas on campus or to plant flowering bulbs to increase campus aesthetics. All wood gathered is ground up and used as mulch for the many landscaping projects throughout the year.
This year’s efforts centered on the woods lining the Reynolda Rd. entrance and the perimeter of the new LEED- designed Welcome Center in anticipation of the ribbon cutting ceremony on March 22.
The Adopt-an-Area program began more than a decade ago when Jim Coffey, Director of Landscaping Services, and Mike Ford, Associate Dean of Campus Life, teamed up to involve students in campus beautification efforts. According to Coffey, the program fulfills two needs – members of Greek organizations fulfill service requirements for their organizations and the landscaping staff receives a huge surge of labor to accomplish very time and energy intensive tasks – but the true value is immeasurable.
“If you are going to live here and be educated here, you ought to have some involvement in the community. You end up building memories and as I recall from my college days – college really is about the fellowship and the memories,” Coffey said.
By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern