Most college students would rather spend a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon at the park, laying out in the sun, throwing a Frisbee, or cruising around with the top down.
On Sunday, April 18, however, more than 100 students from Spartanburg’s six colleges chose to give something back to the community. Together with volunteers from S.P.A.C.E. (the Spartanburg Area Conservancy), students from Converse College, Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, Spartanburg Methodist College, Spartanburg Technical College, University of South Carolina-Spartanburg, and Wofford College spent the day pulling trash from Lawson’s Fork Creek and clearing unwanted brush from Cottonwood Trail, which runs along the creek.
The students gathered at a staging area in front of Spartanburg High School, then fanned out to the nearby urban preserve and its three-mile network of trails.
One team started construction on a set of steps leading down from Dupree Street to the trail, while another team repaired a footbridge across a branch that flows into Lawson’s Fork Creek. Another team waded into the creek, removing bottles, cans, and fast food containers. The team also pulled from the waters several tires, an old chair and a hot water heater. Other teams cleared weeds and unwanted shrubs from the trailside, and saved trees from being choked by runaway English Ivy.
Spartanburg Mayor Bill Barnet praised the students for choosing to give something back to the community over numerous other recreational activities.
“We want people to have pride in Spartanburg,” said Barnet, who expressed hope that some of the students would one day call the city home.
Mary Walter, S.P.A.C.E. Executive Director, was pleased that more students turned out than she originally expected. Incoming S.P.A.C.E. President, Peyton Howell, commented that Day of Service is “a great opportunity for the community to embrace the colleges.”