UCOP staff digs volunteering at Oakland school garden
UCOP staff members really put their backs into the first volunteer event of the newly formed affinity group, Office of the President Professional Community (OPPC): Under the supervision of teacher Grey Kolevzon, they helped develop the garden at a four-school complex near Lake Merritt that includes La Escuelita K-8 Elementary School, MetWest High School and the United Nation Child Development Center.
Volunteer Tuline N. Baykal called the June 10 event a “fun afternoon of getting dirty” but that makes light of some serious labor. In a mere four hours, the group prepared 15 garden beds for later planting by the students. Using rakes, shovels, pitchforks and wheelbarrows, they worked and turned the soil a full foot in each bed, dressed each with compost, built a new compost pile from gathered dead leaves and plants, and installed an irrigation system for all the garden beds.
As the photos show, the volunteers had fun while making a real contribution to a local Oakland school. Christine Tabisaura said, “It was a beautiful day for enjoyable work,” and thanked the school for allowing UCOP staff to be a part of their garden journey. “We hope to visit again and check out the fruits of our labor. Maybe even do some harvesting.”
Valerie Marble agreed that it was “real fun,” and Carlos Arias may have summed it up best for the entire group: “It felt good to do a little for the community — and I had a blast, too!”
– Kay Francesca Coelho
– Aymen Manai
– Carlos Arias
– Jill Butler
– Elizabeth McWhorter
– Christine Tabisaura
– Valerie Marble
– Pamela S. Kan-Rice
– Grey Kolevzon
– Tuline N. Baykal
Want to get your hands dirty? Stay tuned for future volunteer opportunities with OPPC!
OPPC seeks to promote greater community awareness and participation of UCOP staff by cross-collaborating with other UCOP affinity groups, establishing and maintaining community relationships with the city of Oakland, and performing other outreach activities in the Bay Area. OPPC also hosts community gatherings to foster strong communication and connections among UCOP employees.