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UMD Gives Back Through 'Student Service Day'

UMD students pose for a picture before their day of service. UMD students pose for a picture before their day of service. | 

Emily Ness
Updated: October 06, 2019 06:27 PM

Before students adorn themselves in red and maroon Bulldog gear for Homecoming next week, they have adorned themselves in neon vests and rubber gloves. Walking through some of Duluth's most scenic areas with bags in hand, they picked up trash.

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"I think a big part of it is that the community welcomes us college students with open arms so it's kind of just doing a little bit back for it," Neil Bhakta, Student Body President at UMD said. "Having the invite to be out here and be serving with my peers is great," he added.

Planned and executed by a member of Kirby Student Board, the purpose of the cleanup was to do exactly that: give back to the community.

"This year I decided let's do a 'Service Sunday' and get the Homecoming week off to a good start and clean up Duluth a little bit,” Cassidy Bonsante, Traditions Chair, Kirby Program Board said. “I was actually out hiking with my friends a few weeks ago and I saw all the garbage and I'm like 'oh, we need to fix this,’ so I'm glad that we could incorporate it into the week of Homecoming events,” she added.

The cleanup included a total of ten student groups.

"We had twelve sign up and ten actually show up, so that's awesome. That's a higher number than I was expecting,” Bonsante said.

Some volunteers said that the way their community looked was a reflection of its members.

"They told us we could leave whenever we feel like we have served our community enough. I don't think we'll ever be able to do that. Like I said, Duluth's a place that welcomes all of us college students with open arms so we'll try and stay out here as long as we can and keep finding garbage in the smallest of places,” Bhakta said.

A few of the places students cleaned up today included Chester Park, Bagley Nature Area and Park Point Beach.

"I was impressed by how clean it was already. We were walking around and we had to search really hard and it was just a little bit of trash that we ended up finding. Like all our bags are pretty empty,” Delaney Anderson, Student Body Vice President at UMD said. "We live in a beautiful city so we need to keep it looking beautiful,” she added.

Students hope that their cleanup will allow others to get the most out of these beautiful Duluth spaces, including those who may be in town next week for the big game.

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Emily Ness

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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