Group praised by community for service
The UH Class of 2014, a new student program that is part of Welcome to Cougar Life!, recently volunteered to help the Houston community on Aug. 21.
As part of Cougar Life, a new initiative through Residential Life & Housing, incoming freshmen assisted with maintenance at Hermann Park. This program is set up to welcome freshman to the University and community through several planned activities.
“The primary goal was to give the class of 2014 an opportunity to make a difference at Hermann Park, and to become acquainted with each other through a day of community service,” Associate Director of Career Services Janet Civitelli said.
Hermann Park was donated by George Hermann in 1914, and is one of Houston’s most popular public green spaces. In the 1980’s the park went through a period of dilapidation due to lack of funds and the Friends of Hermann Park was formed to help restore the landscape.
Friends of Hermann Park later became the Hermann Park Conservancy and with the help of many dedicated volunteers, the group continues to maintain the park today.
UH partnered with the Conservancy and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department to assist in the effort.
UH Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Elwyn C. Lee welcomed students and volunteers at the event on Saturday. Houston Mayor Pro Tem and UH Alumna Anne Clutterbuck then kicked off the event by reading a proclamation from Mayor Annise Parker.
In the proclamation Parker commended UH for “its dedication to the beautification of parks in the community” and declared Aug. 21, 2010, “Cougars Making a Difference Day.”
UH students, faculty, staff and alumni all pitched in. They worked together to restore park benches, remove unwanted plants and debris and tend the gardens.
“Participants worked on several projects identified by Hermann Park staff as high priority for maintaining the park’s beauty,” Civitelli said.
This project was made possible through the generous donations of sponsors like the Conservancy, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, City of Houston Volunteer Initiatives Program, Capital One Bank, H-E-B, Canteen Vending, and Waste Management.
The project received a large enough outcome for UH staff to consider repeating it next year.
“The Hermann Park staff were very pleased with the outcome of the park beautification project,” Civitelli said. “They would love to make this an annual event.”