Twelve honors students, faculty, and staff hung up their backpacks in exchange for shovels, gloves, rakes, and wheelbarrows. They headed to Duluth’s Rose Garden and divided into groups to complete one task-- preparing the garden for the harsh winter weather.
These 12 worked together for five hours shoveling mulch into wheelbarrows, wheeling it to various locations, and spreading the mulch around trees, shrubs, and rose bushes. They got their hands dirty and were pricked by thorns weeding and removing dead shrubs. Pricking never felt so good.
None of them were required to be there. They simply wanted to volunteer for the CSS’s 10th semi-annual fall Community Day.
At the Rose Garden, they worked with the maintenance crew and learned about the kind of work that Duluth Parks and Recreation puts into keeping the parks clean and beautiful. They learned that much of the work is actually done by volunteers, because the city can’t afford the appropriate amount of staff it would take to keep up with the maintenance of all the parks.
Wes Stubb, a freshman who received the silver volunteer President’s award in high school, was excited to participate in Community Day with the Honors Program. “It was a beautiful day, the staff was very appreciative, and it was fun!” said Stubb.
Group leader, Dr. Debra Schroeder, was also excited to participate in Community Day. “This is the first year the Honors Program got a group together for Community Day,” Schroeder said. “This year’s Benedictine value is community, so I thought it would be a good time to go as a group to Community Day.”
She had gone to the Rose Garden with the psychology department for Community Day in previous years and was excited to learn the group was paired with the location.
By participating in Community Day, the group members learned the importance of volunteering.
“Volunteering is a way to show community spirit. It’s very fulfilling to know a direct contribution is made to the community,” Stubb said. “Volunteering in a public place is a great way to give back to the community because anyone who wishes can view the fruits of the effort put into the work.”