On April 23, Northeastern University’s Off-Campus office hosted a community cleanup and planting event as part of National Volunteer Week and Earth Day weekend. Students were notified about the event via email, and a couple of students told the Gazette about their experience with the cleanup, which took place in the Mission Hill Community Garden and other nearby open spaces.
Rajath Vanakudare, a first-year graduate student studying computer science at Northeastern, said in an email to the Gazette that the email from Northeastern “caught my attention as I’m someone who loves to do community service.”
He said he had done previous garden cleanup work at Hawthorne Youth and Community Center where they “completely cleaned up the garden,” so he decided to sign up for this event.
In the Mission Hill Community Garden, where Vanakudare helped out on the 23, “we did tasks like raking, removing weeds, cleaning the debris, removing non-biodegradable products from the lot and cleaned the footpath around the place. It was fun as I got to meet a lot more people.”
Vanakudare also said that student volunteers received coffee, donuts, and muffins at the end of the cleanup, as well as a goodie bag.
“It was really satisfying to see the yard clean after three hours of work,” he said. “I would say it was a really fun experience where I got an opportunity to meet my peers and go around the local parks to make it a cleaner place.”
Dev Vaibhav is another graduate student who participated in the cleanup day, but he said he was stationed at the tennis courts by the Boston Police headquarters to clean up that area.
Vaibhav said that they cleaned up some leaves and dirt on the nearby stairs as well as removed weeds and planted some flowers in the area.
“The experience was very good,” he said, adding that it helped take his mind off the stress of studying for upcoming final exams. “I was feeling stressed and thought that I should give it a try,” Vaibhav said. “That was really good; really helpful.”