Waynesburg University’s incoming freshman class participated in a service project at Ryerson Station State Park Saturday, Aug. 23. CONSOL Energy sponsored the event, providing the necessary tools as well as long sleeved t-shirts for volunteers. Sherwin-Williams and the Salvation Army also provided tools and materials for the volunteers’ use.
The nearly 500 volunteers included upperclassmen Bonner Scholars and orientation leaders as well as University faculty and staff who served alongside the freshman class. The Bonner Scholars also honed their leadership skills by leading the freshmen groups.
Labeled with “Coming together to make a change,” the t-shirts donated by CONSOL illustrated the combined efforts of CONSOL, Waynesburg University and Ryerson Station State Park. The t-shirts were designed by Michelle Dunseath, a Waynesburg University digital design student from Donora, Pa.
Representatives from both CONSOL and Waynesburg are hopeful that this will be the first of many collaborative projects at Ryerson.
“We are proud to partner with two very important community organizations in Waynesburg for what we hope will become an annual event,” said Jessica Kearns, external relations specialist at CONSOL. “As a natural resource company, we recognize the importance of environmental management, and we practice responsible use of the land, water and air in our operational areas. This project provided us the opportunity to work together with local students to encourage civic engagement and community development.”
With the goal of raising the level of recreational experiences for people visiting Ryerson, volunteers served at various locations in the park on projects such as removing invasive plant species, staining benches and guardrails at the campground and removing litter along roads in the park.
Before heading to the park, CONSOL representatives and the president of the Waynesburg University Student Senate, Joshuah Dains of Clarksville, gave motivational talks on the importance of community engagement to the student audience.
The day ended with Park Ranger Alan Johnson thanking the students for doing a year’s worth of work in one day.
In alignment with the University’s mission of connecting faith, learning and serving, also often referred to as connecting the heart, head and hands, the first two days of Freshmen Orientation Weekend were devoted to faith and learning, with the third focusing on service through the project at Ryerson.
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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
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