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Students to take part in Earth Day service project

Community Engagement Apr 16, 2024

An IU South Bend student takes part in a service project cleaning up Veterans Memorial Park Members of the IU South Bend campus will be removing non-native plants from the hillside at Veterans Memorial Park on Northside Boulevard in South Bend as well as from the north shore of the St. Joseph River and the campus wetlands. It’s part of the campus’ seventh annual Earth Day Celebration and Service Project on April 19.

The IU South Bend Honors Program, Botany Club, Center for a Sustainable Future, Office of Alumni Relations and Sustainability Club will join the city of South Bend’s Venues, Parks and Arts Division for the work.

Organizers say the Earth Day program aims to educate participants on sustainable ecological practices while engaging them in a day of service that focuses on the campus and the surrounding community’s urban landscape. It also aims to foster collaboration between IU South Bend and the city.

The day will begin with presentations in the Weikamp Hall auditorium at 10 a.m. Associate Professor of Biology Deb Marr, Professor of Biological Sciences Andy Schnabel and South Bend Parks Horticulturalist Mary Wojcik will focus on urban landscapes, biodiversity, the negative impact of invasive species and non-native plants and how this project fits into the city’s larger goals of improving biodiversity.

Work will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, where students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members will be instructed on proper removal techniques of invasive and non-native plants.

“I have been fortunate to participate in our Earth Day celebration for four years. It’s always an educational experience, but it’s also great fun working alongside and meeting new participants each year while we’re improving the local ecology,” said Karrie Jean, assistant director of IU South Bend Honors Program.

People are welcome to drop by whenever their schedule allows. No gardening experience is needed. Equipment will be provided, but people are welcome to bring loppers and gloves to the event.

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