On April 30th, 2011, the Union College CFACT Chapter volunteered at the Central Park Rose Garden in Schenectady, NY. The park is a place where people from all around can take their kids and enjoy a nice spring or summer day. Much of Schenectady is considered to be somewhat dangerous and impoverished, but this garden gives a sense of community to Schenectady residents. I decided that as Union Students we owed our time to the community that has openly welcomed us.
At 9:00 am on that nice Saturday morning, I drove over to the garden to help clean it up for families to enjoy. When I arrived people were very friendly and were very excited that I had come to help. Luckily, there were many volunteers that day from other institutions, such as a girls scout troop and GE. I was asked to rake leaves and pick up any trash that had been left there from the winter. For two and a half hours we raked leaves and picked up bottle caps that had be pushed into the dirt. We collected pine cones from the volleyball and bocce courts so that people could play games without hurting their feet. We also helped plant flowers in the outdoor atrium for people to enjoy.
At 11:30 am the park looked like it had been transformed into an area ready for families to enjoy. By the time we were finishing up, parents were already pushing their children on swings and were getting ready for picnics. Volunteering at this garden felt great because we helped create a beautiful place for families to enjoy. Also, we made a donation of $160.00 so that the committee in charge of picking up the park could do it again next year. They were very appreciative, and I intend to have the club donate to the garden every year because it truly is a worthy cause.