Max Goto, front, a sophomore from Hamden majoring in History and Murphy Almonte, back, a freshman from Bridgeport majoring in Psychology, lead other Eastern students as they paint the bandshell at Patriot's Park.
Eastern's student volunteers gave Coventry a spring cleaning on April 9, receiving a warm reception from the grateful townspeople. Approximately 200 volunteers registered for "Community Day 2011," putting in a 4- to 5-hour workday to clear hiking trails, paint the band shell at Patriots Park, landscape that and several other parks and spruce up other town facilities, including the Nathan Hale Homestead and two properties of the Coventry Historical Society. In all, Eastern students worked on 16 different projects during the day.
"The work the Eastern students did today was amazing," said Coventry Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Rubin. "I'm just thrilled. The work would not have been done if these students hadn't been here. It has changed the face of our town and created pride in our community."
Jennie Navarro, a senior English and Elementary Education major from Pomfret Center and a student employee in the CCE, worked behind with scenes with the Coventry Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments to identify projects for Eastern students to work on. "They were very appreciative and cooperative, and I think, as a result, we had some great outcomes today."
In years past, Eastern has focused the annual spring cleanup in its hometown of Willimantic. "We have students from 164 of Connecticut's 169 towns," explained Silcox, "and alumni throughout eastern Connecticut and elsewhere. We thought it made sense to share our students' energy and time with other communities as well."