Students will dig in for an Earth Day of Service

Shovels digging into earth

Once again, University of Oregon students will get out and get dirty during Earth Week.

As part of the annual celebration of the planet, hundreds of UO students will give back to the communities in which they live by participating in a day of service on Saturday, April 23. The aim of this “Earth Day of Service” is to improve near-campus neighborhoods and community programs and bring students and community members together.

For this spring’s event, CommUniversity, the Holden Center, the Student Alumni Association and Government and Community Relations have teamed up to boost campus involvement and community benefit.

“As part of the annual Earth Week event, this day of service is all about engaging, taking action and critically reflecting on our impact in our communities,” said Corin Bauman, assistant director of community engagement with the Holden Center. “Working with local organizations committed to promoting sustainability, the service projects focus on the actions we can take locally and how they connect to global movements of sustainability and justice.”
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., nine service projects involving more than 250 UO students and community and city partners will be completed.

Projects from 9 a.m. to noon:

  • In West and South University neighborhoods, Friends of Trees staff will lead volunteers in planting 40 street trees.
  • At the Lane County Historical Museum, volunteers will maintain exterior landscaping areas.
  • In the West University neighborhood, volunteers will pick up trash along streets and alleys.
  • Around the edges of campus, volunteers will clean up areas that are hot spots for inappropriately discarded cigarette butts.

Projects from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • At Mt. Pisgah, Friends of Buford Park staff will lead volunteers in removing invasive blackberries, ivy, and daffodils for future sustainable use of the space.
  • In Hendricks Park, City of Eugene Parks and Open Space staff will lead volunteers in maintaining popular walking and running trails with wood chip dispersal.
  • In the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park, Walama Restoration leaders will work with volunteers to protect critically imperiled Willamette Valley habitat using non-chemical prairie restoration techniques.
  • At the Eugene Mission, volunteers will prep raised bed for planting by weeding, mowing, edging, and planting herbs.
  • At the Grassroots Garden, Food for Lane County staff will lead volunteers in maintaining organic gardening beds, including planting, harvesting, weeding, composting, and cleaning beds.

“The Day of Service event is a reminder and opportunity for students to connect to their community. It’s a small call to action that makes a big, positive impact for our neighbors and ourselves,” said Patrick Glang, CommUniversity assistant.

Earth Day of Service is a collaborative effort of the UO’s Office of the Dean of Students, CommUniversity, Holden Center, Student Alumni Association and Government and Community Relations; city of Eugene, Division of Parks and Open Space; Friends of Buford Park; Friends of Trees; Food for Lane County; Lane County Historical Museum; the Eugene Mission; and Walama Restoration.