The Student Education Association (SEA) at Governors State University (GSU) joined the Chicago Heights Park District on Earth Day at Smith Memorial Park for this project. SEA received a grant from the National Education Association (NEA) that provided money to use towards a community service project. The park district leaders and leaders in SEA planned and implemented the Beautification Day event with the goal of cleaning up and restoring Smith Memorial Park in Chicago Heights. The SEA leaders who wrote and organized the grant and event: Michael Flood and Kinga Drag (SEA Student Leaders) and Dr. Katy E. Hisrich (Faculty Advisor of SEA and Assistant Professor in the College of Education).
The event was a success. We had 20 volunteers attend and help in the restoration of the park. Volunteers were SEA leaders, SEA members, GSU students, along with their friends and family. A variety of flowers, large trees, and bushes were planted throughout the park. Volunteers were assigned to clean up, rake, dig, plant, and mulch specific areas in the park. As the day came to an end, Smith Park had transformed into a clean and appealing place in the community that can be enjoyed by all. SEA hopes to continue their relationship with the Chicago Heights Park District with future events and next year on Earth Day.
Note to Dr. Katy E. Hisrich (Assistant Professor at GSU) from Frank Perez (Superintendent of Chicago Heights Park District) on April 25, 2017: “Thank you and your students for the awesome job at Smith Park. We are receiving many compliments from the public. Hopefully, we can build our on partnership and make Earth Day an annual event at Smith Park.”
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