The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Seventh annual Labors of Love program held

Despite having the day off, students headed out to help the community Monday with UW-Eau Claire’s seventh annual Labors of Love program.

Volunteers were dispatched to Putnam Park, Eau Claire County Humane Association, State Theatre, Bolton Refuge House and walking paths around Eau Claire to help with various improvement projects.

The majority of students working oprojects were on-campus freshmen and sophomores. The program hopes to target new students to encourage them to stay active in their community, as well as open them up to future volunteer efforts in the Eau Claire area, according to a university press release.

Many of the tasks included basic maintenance and aesthetic work, but some were more specialized. Paula Kleintjes Neff and Wilson Taylor, both professors in the biology department, led an effort in Putnam Park to remove the invasive buckthorn plant.

Story continues below advertisement

Buckthorn is extremely dangerous to low shrub and tree growth, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Kleintjes Neff emphasized that the longevity of the plants presence leads to a loss of diversity in the undergrowth.

To identify buckthorn, Taylor advised looking for curved veins, thorns on tips of twigs, and purple berries on the larger female plants. Many experienced students came equipped with their own chainsaws and hardhats, while others picked the smaller plants.

The biology department is looking into organizing more clean-up efforts later in the fall due to the widespread infection throughout the area.

“It’s something you just have to pick away at,” Taylor said, “and today we’ll pick away as much as we can.”

At the State Theatre, sophomores Chelsea Jaskowiak and Amanda Tyler helped to wash away chalk drawings on the outer walls, while other students worked diligently inside cleaning the stage and backstage areas.

“It’s always nice to help out where you can,” Tyler said. Many students also credited service requirements as reasons they helped out.

Other students walked along Water Street and around the downtown area with trash bags, picking up litter from the sidewalks.

Most of the volunteers showed up simply to help, not knowing where they would be assigned or what they would be doing, and everyone seemed enthusiastic to be there, including freshman Adam Schneider who was assigned to the Putnam park clean-up.

“I wanted to have fun, help out, and get some fresh air.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *