UMass students doing service projects Saturday

  • Bianca Renzoni, UMass anthropology and history sophomore, and Justin Murphy, UMass history freshman, back, take weeds out at the Strong House, the home of Amherst Historical Society, as a part of the UMass Day of Impact in Amherst, Sept. 13, 2014. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/Yoshitaka Hamada

Staff Writer
Published: 10/3/2019 11:57:19 PM
Modified: 10/3/2019 11:57:09 PM

A Habitat for Humanity home under construction in Northampton, trails at Lake Wallace in Belchertown and cabins at Camp Lewis Perkins in South Hadley are among locations that will benefit from volunteer service by more than 300 University of Massachusetts students Saturday.

The annual Mass Impact Day of Service will see 21 volunteer groups from UMass fan out through the region to offer three to four hours of their time.

Mary Dettloff, a UMass spokeswoman, said the day starts with a check-in at the Fine Arts Center before buses depart at around 8:30 a.m. to the sites, most in Hampshire County, with two in Springfield.

Many of the projects will be outdoors, such as painting signposts and bridges at Look Park in Florence, weeding and mulching the meditation garden and staining its furniture at the Cancer Connection in Northampton, building a trail on Kestrel Land Trust property in Pelham and planting perennials at Pelham Elementary School. There will also be raking and bagging leaves in the garden at Jones Library in Amherst and landscaping the adjacent Amherst History Museum, spreading wood chips at Markert’s Pond in Amherst, and harvesting chestnuts, sorting onions and shucking corn at Amherst’s Sunset Farm

Indoor projects include washing and disinfecting walkers for residents at Rockridge Retirement Community in Northampton and dusting books, shelves and sills at the Jones Library.

Some of the students will also participate in donation drives for Dakin Humane Society, one in Hadley and the other in Northampton, both outside Dave’s Soda and Pet City stores.

Only one project is on the campus. Sponsored by Tobacco Free UMass, that involves cleaning up and removing all tobacco waste. The Springfield projects are mulching, weeding and plantings at the Ronald MacDonald House, and filling family bags with scarves and blankets, and weeding and seeding for the Gardening the Community program.

Among the volunteers organizations are several sororities and fraternities, Sisters on the Runway, the UMass Gospel Choir, the NAACP and the UMass Student Government Association

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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