UIndy cleans up campus, surrounding area

University of Indianapolis students, faculty, staff and alumni volunteered their time to take part in the annual Spring community cleanup project, known as The Great UIndy Cleanup, on April 5.

Campus Program Board and the Community Programs Center have hosted the spring-cleaning event, which has brought about 200 volunteers annually, since 2007, according to Director of Student Activities Stephanie Barry.

UIndy-Clean-up
Junior swimmers Dalton Herendeen and Aaron Stevenson volunteer with tree planting team in the University Heights Neighborhood on April 5. (Photo by Ayla Wilder)

 

Barry said that the event brings together faculty, staff and their families as well as a wide range of students.

“I think it is my favorite event that we do,” Barry said. “It’s such a great mix of students that come out.”

The Great UIndy Cleanup kicked off at 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning. After meeting on campus for a free breakfast and work group assignments, the cleanup crews spread out to five different areas around the campus community: University Heights United Methodist Church, the Hannah House, Montessori Garden Academy, Indianapolis Public School’s Raymond F. Brandes Elementary School 65 and the University Heights neighborhood.

Even though junior communication major Amani Morgan found getting up early on a Saturday a little difficult, she said that her time at the Montessori Garden Academy was well spent.

“I felt like I made more of a difference in half a day than a person does in a whole day on Saturday,” Morgan said. “We had a pile of mulch as tall as me and were able to get it spread around their [the Montessori Garden Academy’s] playground area.”

Each group had specific tasks for the individual sites, ranging from jobs such as landscaping and mulching to garden preparation and tree planting.

Senior communication major Amanda Musgrave was part of a group that built planter boxes for the University Heights Park at Mathews and Edwards avenues.

“I really liked working with a small group and completing a big project together,” Musgrave said. “I’m excited that it is going to be pretty for the neighborhood and the community. I can’t wait to walk by it, to see how it comes along.”

According to sophomore experience design major and CPB Impact Chair Kay Bray, having students connect with the community outside the campus is an advantage the Great UIndy Cleanup has over other events.

“This is a community and a family. We are helping each other out,” Bray said.

Bray also said that each volunteer group was able to learn about the different sites and the overall history of the community.

“When we went to the Hannah House, we not only got a tour but got a history of the house and how Alexander Hannah owned half of the property in the area back when it was built,” Bray said.

After finishing up their assigned projects and connecting with the community, the volunteer groups came back to campus for lunch and for students to fill out recognition of volunteer hour forms for their transcripts.