Wittenberg's Office of Community Service has organized a program to direct an anticipated 70 participants, who will branch out to five locations across the city to participate in several service projects, including making commemorative art work and restoring a former stop on the Underground Railroad. The 2008 theme is "Connect, Action, Transform," and organizers are working hard to ensure that the participants' efforts will have an impact on multiple aspects of the Springfield community.
"Springfield is really taking strides to transform its community," said community service student coordinator Lily Pate, class of 2009 from Gahanna, Ohio. "So, Wittenberg is trying to support that by helping restore historic buildings and planting trees and so on."
Celebrate Service participants are also visiting familiar sites in 2008, while continuing to reach out to new projects in keeping with the growth of Springfield.
For the first time, Wittenberg participants are helping to restore the Gammon House, a stop on the Underground Railroad. Landscaping work, which includes planting a flower bed with flora commonly used during the historical era, will be done around the site.
From the old to the new, Wittenberg participants will join high school students to make and decorate tiles to commemorate the coming merger of Springfield's North and South high schools. The tiles, which will reflect the individual characteristics of each school, will be fitted into various landscaping components at the new institution, which is scheduled to open in August 2008.
Other Wittenberg participants will focus their attention on several additional areas of Springfield. Some will aid South Fountain Preservation Inc. by planting trees along the street's historic district, while others will help the city with its beautification projects by cleaning up trash from the Buck Creek area in anticipation of the construction of the city's new downtown hospital. In addition, participants will assist at the Nearly New Shop, a non-profit consignment store, by removing graffiti from their building.
Space is limited at each site, with just 70 spots set aside for the Wittenberg participants this year. Students, faculty and staff members can register by clicking here.
Pate was optimistic when asked if she was concerned about Ohio's bleak weather conditions."Sun always shines on Celebrate Service, knock on wood," Pate said. "Rain or shine, we're planting trees, we're planting flowers. But it's not going to rain."
Written By: Christi Lue '09
Photos By: Robert Gantt
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