Meadville Tribune

Local News

April 27, 2008

Area volunteers spruce up public property

A rhythmic “ca-chunk” was ringing out as Nick Ozorak was working Saturday.

The sound emanated from a pick Ozorak was swinging struck the ground at Meadville’s Huidekoper Park.

Ozorak, a junior at Meadville Area Senior High School, was helping prepare the ground for a short foot bridge over a small stream at the park.

“It’s a nice park in a nice location,” Ozorak said of why he and other members of the school’s National Honor Society were working. “It just needs a little touch up.”

Ozorak was one of about 50 teen-agers and Allegheny college students at Huidekoper Park as part of Global Youth Service Day. There were about 100 at various locations around the county working on community service projects.

“It’s our day to showcase the youth and young adults in the community and show what they can do,” said Scarlett Graham, the volunteer coordinator for the event at the French Creek Valley Community Improvement Center. “They’re all in service groups doing projects throughout the year.”

Global Youth Service Day is an annual global event, Graham said. It helps recognize the year-round contributions of young people to build their communities and their world through voluntary service, she said.

Rhianna Hughes of Grand Rapids, Mich., a freshman at Allegheny College, was helping clean the small trail at Huidekoper. A member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, Hughes enjoys giving her time.

“I like doing a lot of service projects,” she said. “Our fraternity wants us to do at least 15 hours of community service. This is one way to do so.”

Stephanie Klocke, another Allegheny freshman and member of Alpha Phi Omega, had no qualms about working on the trail.

“It’s not bad,” she said while raking. “You get to be outside in nice weather — and procrastinate on homework.”

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