The Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement’s IMPACT office concluded its “Spring into Service” week with a community garden cleanup at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in Niagara Falls on April 23. The weeklong series of service opportunities and other events was held in celebration of National Volunteer Week.  

Students representing cyber security, softball, and the outdoors club weeded and cleaned the grounds, moved gardening beds and filled them with soil, and planted seeds to grow a vegetable and herb garden that will be accessible to community residents.

This project-based learning opportunity was coordinated in partnership with Grassroots Gardens of Western New York, a group of community gardeners and activists with a mission to share knowledge, power, and resources to grow healthy food, heal systemic harm, and strengthen neighborhood connections through community gardens.

Other activities held during the week included making T-shirts into bags to be donated to area pantries, making cards for senior citizens, and making blankets and mats for the homeless; collecting donations of cans; packing items for the university’s Books, Balls, and Blocks program, packing wellness bags with hygiene products for area shelters, and packing school supplies in bags for local schools; a voter registration drive; and a blood drive.