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UC furloughs help Frick Middle School make some serious green

Oakland Unified School District Community Coordinator Jaymie Lollie explains how staff at the UC President’s Office used their furlough day for community service, not for leisure.

Like a Chia Pet gone mad!
UCOP Cares is a new initiative developed by staff within the UC Office of the President who are interested in contributing their time, talent, donations, and labor as volunteers in service to the local community. Amid budget cuts and furloughs, their goal is to turn these challenges into opportunities to create positive change in our communities.
We have tamed the savage beast!
UCOP Cares volunteers contributed their time, energy, and donations to the school garden project at Frick Middle School on Friday, April 16, a mandatory furlough day at UCOP. As enthusiastic supporters of community gardens, they couldn’t think of a better way to usher in Earth Day’s Global Days of Service and celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day!
On Friday, April 16th 14 UCOP Cares volunteers joined 16 members of Frick Middle School staff and students (mostly from Ms. Agustin’s class) all morning pulling weeds, tilling soil, and planting a wide variety of vegetables, ornamentals, and even a magnolia tree! We literally went from a huge overgrown garden to a great, well-planned garden of pumpkins, eggplant, salad mixes, strawberries, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other vegetables. We even set up two composting stations. We can’t wait to watch things grow, and we look forward to eating the fruits of our labor.

UCOP Cares was able to get donations from the Grand Lake Ace Garden Center, Merritt College’s Landscape Horticulture Department.

Ms. Odette Pollar, and the Lakeshore Avenue Free Neighborhood Plant Exchange also made generous contributions. We are so appreciative of everyone’s time and the donations that helped to make this all possible. We’re thankful that UCOP Cares joined Frick Middle School and millions around the globe to make our community and the world cleaner, greener, and more sustainable!

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