More than 800 University of Portland freshmen from the class of 2013 braved drenching rain, Saturday Sept. 5 to complete work projects at more than 12 community organizations, including Arbor Lodge Park, New Columbia neighborhood and Ockley Green schools. The student volunteers were taking part in the University's fifth annual volunteer day, "Building Community: Serving to Learn".
Accompanied by 68 upperclass student leaders and more than 80 faculty and staff, the class of 2013 worked for more than 2,000 hours at 14 sites: clearing invasive plants such as English Ivy from native vegetation; plant weeding: mulch landscaping: picking up litter; painting Ockley Green school and landscaping its grounds; harvesting vegetables; planting crops; and installing tables and benches
Their work supported: Friends of Trees, Friends of Tryon State Park, Forest Park Conservancy, METRO, New Columbia Neighborhood Association, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Public Schools, Sauvie Island Organics, SOLV, Three Rivers Land Conservancy, and the Tryon Creek Watershed Council.
After their workday, the students met in a closing ceremony, where they discussed received University of Portland medallions recognizing their commitment and leadership. University president, Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., praised the students, faculty and staff for their time and efforts.
"I don't know of any other school in the country whose students, faculty and staff would commit to an early Saturday morning of work, and stay committed particularly under these conditions," he said. "It is truly remarkable and you are to all to be commended."