Community, Homecoming 2014, News

Homecoming service day proves fruitful

Students participating in Hurricanes Help the Hometown gather at the Rock before heading out to various service sites on Saturday morning. Sarah Hirth // Contributing Photographer

Students participating in Hurricanes Help the Hometown gather at the Rock before heading out to various service sites on Saturday morning. Sarah Hirth // Contributing Photographer

After making it through a week of classes, about 200 students from various campus organizations spent their Saturday morning participating in Hurricanes Help the Hometown (HHTH), a Homecoming event that happens to be one of the longest-standing service days at the University of Miami.

This annual event was planned out six months ahead of Homecoming Week by Hannah Abel, Jackie Safstrom and Sapan Parikh, the chairs of HHTH.

“We go into the community and see which sites are more responsive to student volunteers,” said Parikh, a senior majoring in economics and finance.

Students were welcomed with a T-shirt, a water bottle and bagels before they got on buses that drove to volunteer sites such as the Tropical Audubon Society and the Fruit and Spice Park.

The largest group of students, numbering 102 volunteers, went to the Fruit and Spice Park, a roughly 40-acre garden in Homestead.

Founded in the 1940s by Miami-Dade County, Fruit and Spice Park was originally created to showcase Floridian agricultural crops such as citrus fruits and mangoes. However, in the 1980s, a new park manager decided to diversify the park with tropical plants from all over the world. Today, the park boasts more than 2,000 trees, including 120 varieties of mangoes and 60 varieties of bananas.

Guiding the students was Louise King, a park horticulturalist who expressed her gratitude towards the volunteers.

“It’s hard to keep up with 40 acres of plants with a small staff, so when UM volunteers come to help us, it frees our garden staff to do horticultural tasks that involve more skills and knowledge,” King said.

Volunteers marched across the park and pulled out possum vines and air potatoes, plants that compete with trees for sunlight and nutrients. If left unchecked, these plants would grow to cover the canopy of the trees and prevent the trees from obtaining sunlight.

After four hours of hard work, the students gathered around in a circle to discuss how they felt about the service day. Aalekhya Reddam, the Homecoming chair for the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO), was impressed with the park’s variety of foreign plants, many of which UM’s international students could recognize.

“It was like the whole world condensed in Fruit and Spice Park,” she said.

October 25, 2014

Reporters

Zishi Wu


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

The Miami soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Thursday night at Cobb Stadium behind ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team will open play Friday at the ITA Southeast Region ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.