Student volunteers clean up campus weeds, trash as part of Alternative Break

Students+participate+in+Alternative+Break+at+Sacramento+State+on+March+20.+The+event+consisted+of+a+week+of+community+service+projects+designed+for+students+who+were+not+leaving+town+for+spring+break.+%28Photo+by+Claire+Morgan%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Student volunteers clean up campus weeds, trash as part of Alternative Break

Students participate in Alternative Break at Sacramento State on March 20. The event consisted of a week of community service projects designed for students who were not leaving town for spring break. (Photo by Claire Morgan)

Students participate in Alternative Break at Sacramento State on March 20. The event consisted of a week of community service projects designed for students who were not leaving town for spring break. (Photo by Claire Morgan)

Students participate in Alternative Break at Sacramento State on March 20. The event consisted of a week of community service projects designed for students who were not leaving town for spring break. (Photo by Claire Morgan)

Students participate in Alternative Break at Sacramento State on March 20. The event consisted of a week of community service projects designed for students who were not leaving town for spring break. (Photo by Claire Morgan)

John Ferrannini

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






By John Ferrannini and Claire Morgan

Some students spent their week off picking weeds, cleaning trash and constructing planter boxes as part of Alternative Break, a series of service projects designed for those still in town for spring break.

The focus of this iteration of Alternative Break, which takes place twice a year, was on-campus sustainability and environmental awareness, according to Eliot Watson, a graduate student assistant with the Community Engagement Center.

Watson said that the idea came from student suggestions last semester.

“We wanted to make it convenient so students could feel that these were projects they could easily get to and that are close to their heart — on their campus,” Watson said. “People liked the idea of a campus clean-up (and) helping out.”

Almost 200 students signed up to volunteer at some point during the week, and 81 showed up on the first day of volunteering, according to Watson.

One of those students was business major Sarah Whitford, who said she was staying in town over the break.

“Well, it’s always good to get involved in community service, because civic engagement is very important — especially sustainability,” Whitford said. “We only have one planet; well probably — at least in my lifetime. I don’t know about my children or grandchildren.” (Story continues below)

One of the first projects for Alternative Break was aimed at clearing weeds from patches of plants in Parking Lot 10 that were designed as “stormwater filtration devices,” according to Kristina Cullen of the sustainability department.

There are 25 such “devices” on campus filled with plants that clean rainwater and pump them back into the American River.

“These weeds kill the plants put here to filtrate,” Cullen said. “When (stormwater) gets down to the bottom (of the devices) and we pump it to the American River, it should be cleaner because when it falls in the lot it picks up this (garbage) and pollution. It’s becoming cleaner on a natural level.”

Cullen showed the student volunteers which plants should be in the devices and which are weeds.

(Photo by Claire Morgan)

“It’s kind of like that ‘Sesame Street’ song — one of these things just doesn’t belong,” Cullen said.

Emmeline Sirivarerattana, a junior child development major, said that she had no idea the plants aided in campus sustainability before she volunteered at Alternative Break.

“Kristina explained the backstory to it, it’s like ‘Wow, I come park here and I never knew what this was,’ ” Sirivarerattana said. “I was just like, ‘Oh it’s just a field with grass,’ but now I know it’s so much more than that.”

Students also worked in a new garden sponsored by Associated Students, Inc., the produce harvested will be given out at the ASI Food Pantry on campus.

Tuesday’s Alternative Break activities were cancelled due to the rain, according to a CEC official. Wednesday’s and Thursday’s activities were focused on cleaning up the area around the American River.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email