UW Runners Give Back to the Arboretum
If you’re a regular visitor to the Arboretum, no doubt you’ve encountered the speedy women and men the UW’s cross country team. During the school year, the team runs in the Arboretum as part of its daily training routine. In May of this year, while on a run with the team in the Arboretum, one of the coaches noticed the Foundation’s yard-sign campaign for GiveBIG and was inspired to organize a special “give back” from the team to show its appreciation for this beautiful place and venue for recreation.
The coaching staff contacted the Foundation to discuss a monetary donation and also to arrange a service day, when the students could come to the Arboretum and help with any work that needed to be done. The Foundation worked with UW Botanic Gardens staff to organize the event, and on Wednesday, August 27—the fourth day of their preseason—39 athletes from the cross country team arrived at the Arboretum for a day of service.
The athletes came in to help with the same focus and drive they demonstrate when training. They divided into three groups and worked on projects in the New Zealand Forest, Cascadia Forest, and Gateway to Chile. In the Gateway to Chile, they made light work of moving two huge piles of mulch from the top to the bottom of the hill by employing a bucket-brigade system. It was an efficient, low-impact, and safe way to deal with the steep slope.
It was incredibly helpful to have additional support from our experienced Garden Stewards, and the UWBG Gardeners were awesome leaders and teachers, as always. This is a natural partnership, and we hope this day of service was the start of an annual tradition.
In addition their hard work, the team made a generous donation of $2,500 to the Foundation. It will be used to pay for tools and materials to support group service projects in the Arboretum.