University and city join forces to clean up local park


Student raking.

Putting ground cover on play area.
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (June 19, 2014) — Just before the start of summer, Greenfork Park has gotten a fresh new look. Today, the university and the City of Tuskegee united to clean up and revitalize the park, located on Patterson Street in the city. Students, summer program participants and community members spent about five hours clearing the park of trash, raking grass, painting bathrooms, making planters, spreading ground cover, and removing vines and weeds from the fencing. The volunteers also added gardens with flowers attractive to butterflies. 

“It’s important to engage our students in bettering the community,” said organizer and head of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Olga Bolden-Tiller. “They are in the community; they are part of the community.”

About 60 high students from the university’s AgriTREK, SciTREK, DiscoveryTREK, and AgDiscovery summer programs also participated in the cleanup. Lenora Goode, a local community advocate who works with the Tuskegee Clean City Commission, said helping revitalize Greenfork Park helps teach children about the importance of giving back. 

“It teaches them basic community and civic responsibility,” Goode said. “It also encourages them to be cohesive and learn communication and team work.”

Bolden-Tiller said the university has worked to improve the park before and that today’s cleanup is part of an on-going project to engage with the community through Greenfork. She said the university would like to add labels and signs identifying various plants and trees in the park. 

“We want to turn this into a learning environment,” Bolden-Tiller said. “Hopefully, school kids will come out here for school trips.”

The partners for today’s project are: College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, U.S. Forest Service (Youth Taking Action Statewide Environmental Challenge), City of Tuskegee Parks and Recreation, Tuskegee Clean City Committee, and the Tuskegee community.

Building a butterfly garden.

Spreading ground cover on playground.

Students clean weeds off fence.

© 2014 Tuskegee University

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