SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Colleges and Universities in western Massachusetts welcomed back students to campus this week. Springfield College has their students starting the school year off on a generous foot with more than 500 students taking part in community service projects, at nearly 35 sites across Springfield on Saturday.

According to a news release from Springfield College, first-year students will be doing a variety of Humanics in Action service projects as part of their New Student Orientation. The Springfield College service project, year after year, encourages students to offer volunteer time to surrounding neighbors while giving the chance for freshman and transfer students to get acclimated to the college.

Students complete tasks including yard maintenance and clean-up. Some of the community service project sites that will be worked on Saturday include:

  • Forest Park Zoo – Wooden fence posts stained, Bathrooms painted, General landscaping
  • Christina’s House on Union Street 
  • St.Rachel’s Fire Baptized Holiness Church on Eastern Avenue
  • Friends of the Homeless on Worthington Street

“So the college’s mission is to educate the whole person and spirit, mind, and body, and in service and leadership to others. So that’s what we’re out here doing today, and like helping our community and cleaning up the park,” expressed Springfield College Junior, Samantha Paul.

For the lucky college students who got to do their community service right here at the Zoo in Forest Park, they painted the bathrooms, did general landscaping, and stained a new fence.

“We walked over there and just saw like peacocks roaming around right near us so it was pretty cool, and it’s just really nice to give back to the community. And interact with them, and connect with the area that our campus is around. I think it’s just a great opportunity to have some fun and do stuff together while also helping others,” said Springfield College Senior, Nicole Connell.

And because of all of the generous work from the students, families now get to enjoy an even cleaner and nicer Zoo in Forest Park, that of course features all of the cutest animals. The community service took place all day on Saturday from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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