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Campus & Community

A Decade of Good Deeds

Hundreds Plant, Prune and Pick Up Trash on 10th Annual Good Neighbor Day

By Golshan Jalali

Three students clear brush at a school on Good Neighbror Day

Terps Kaitlyn Kim (left), Adriana Giuliani and Matthew Oliver, all of the CIVICUS living-learning program, were among the hundreds of volunteers who participated in the 10th annual Good Neighbor Day on Saturday, clearing debris from Hollywood Elementary School.

Photo by John T. Consoli

More than 400 volunteers celebrated the 10-year anniversary of a local service day with trail and park cleanups, schoolyard beautification projects, and invasive plant removals across 14 locations.

Another hundred or so who couldn’t participate in Good Neighbor Day in person on Saturday attended a half-dozen virtual workshops on topics such as financial literacy, gardening and healthy family relationships.

Meanwhile, two food drives—the new Fill-a-Bus event on Friday in front of the Stamp Student Union and outside the College Park IKEA on Saturday—collected at least 32 bins of nonperishable food items to benefit the UMD Campus Pantry and College Park Community Food Bank.

The event—a partnership between the University of Maryland’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE), the city of College Park and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission—has made “huge difference” over the years through the efforts of Terp students, parents, employees and alums, along with community residents, businesses and nonprofits, said Gloria Aparicio Blackwell, OCE director.

“This is indeed a day of the village coming together in support of each other,” she said.

Brooke Westby, senior park ranger in Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, oversaw 40 volunteers who removed invasive honeysuckle bushes around the meadow at Lake Artemesia.

“It was a great mix of people, and everyone had a great time,” she said. “We are already planning some follow-up projects with some of these folks, and our volunteers made some great connections with each other. That's what Good Neighbor Day is all about.”

two students unload food from a bus at UMD Campus Pantry

Siblings Fiorella (left) and Salvatore Oledibe, seniors at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, drop off donations at the UMD Campus Pantry during the Fill-a-Bus Food Drive on Friday. They also participated in two other Good Neighbor Day projects. (Photo by Golshan Jalali)

Students sort donations on bus during food drive

Cameron Thurston, a staff member with the UMD Office of Community Engagement, sorts donations during the Fill-a-Bus Food Drive on Friday outside of the Stamp Student Union. (Photo by Golshan Jalali)

President Pines rakes leaves at local high school

University President Darryll J. Pines (right) pitches in on yard work at Hollywood Elementary. He also stopped by to help at High Point High School in Beltsville. (Photo by John T. Consoli)

Volunteers create a book box to install in front of Hollywood Elementary in College Park

Clockwise from bottom District 1 Councilman Fazlul Kabir and Terps Pavan Bhat, Ryan Gerbes, Antonya Huntenburg da Silva and Kezia Casteal assemble a book box to install in front of Hollywood Elementary School so children there can borrow and exchange books. (Photo by John T. Consoli)

Volunteer demonstrating how to create origami bookmarks

UMD student Anushka Aliev (right) teaches other volunteers how to create origami bookmarks to include in the book box. (Photo by John T. Consoli)

four student volunteers pose outside Hollywood Elementary

From left, Terps Arunima Kohli, Logan Krashnak, Namiko Randall and Lucas Rivero pause after completing their clean-up project at Hollywood Elementary (Photo by John T. Consoli)

Volunteers load bins of donated canned goods into a van to transport them to the College Park Community Food Bank

The parking lot of IKEA in College Park served as a dropoff location for canned goods on Good Neighbor Day on Saturday. Volunteers Oge Odidka ’23 and Elizabeth Abban from Laurel High School load bins of donated canned goods into a van to transport them to the College Park Community Food Bank for distribution. (Photo by John T. Consoli)

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Office of Community Engagement

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