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Working for Worcester to Improve Recreational Spaces Across the City

April 22nd, 2015 by 
students loading earth into wheelbarrow

On Saturday, April 25,  more than 1,000 volunteers will work to renovate 16 community recreation sites in the third annual service day for Working for Worcester. A project, which started with six college students in a residence hall room, now has a leadership team of 50 students on local campuses and more than 1,000 volunteers. Led by College of the Holy Cross senior Colette Houssan ’15, the group has raised more than $100,000.

The city-wide project is designed to promote city pride and provide necessary improvements to Worcester’s recreational spaces. Major sites, which will include building playgrounds this year, include Elm Park Community School, Chandler Elementary, and the Boys and Girls Club. In addition, work will be done at Thorndyke Road School, where improvements will be made to the baseball field; at Burncoat Middle School, volunteers will makeover the library space with a fresh coat of paint, new furniture, and rearrange the space to be more useful to the needs of the community; May Street School, will receive designated play areas for hop-scotch and 4-square as well as improvements to the basketball court. Other recreational space projects include: Tatnuck Magnet Garden, which will be receiving a community garden shed and rain catcher that will be used for students to learn more about rainfall and the overall ecosystem as well as Coes Pond, which will be receiving a beach clean-up, a face-lift to the bath house, and the clearing of a kayak/boat launch.

The Working for Worcester kickoff rally will be held at Holy Cross on the Hart Lawn (rain location: Hart Center basketball court), beginning at 8:30 a.m.  The first hour will consist of registration, t-shirt pick-up and free breakfast, . Speakers for the rally include: Derek Kump ’14, former executive co-director, Working for Worcester, Edward Augustus, Worcester city manager,  Jackie Peterson, vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Holy Cross, Tim Garvin, CEO of United Way Central Mass, Colette Houssan ’15, executive director Working for Worcester, and Joseph Petty, mayor of Worcester. The event is free and open to the public.

“In just three short years Working for Worcester has grown beyond our expectations” says Houssan, executive director of Working for Worcester. “With representation from all the Worcester colleges, employees of local businesses, and our neighbors we will all join together to rejuvenate sites around the city so that more children can learn, play and grow! Working to make Worcester a better place for all, we have learned about its immense culture and history and hope to continue to grow, so that everyone in Worcester can enjoy this great city for many years to come.”

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