Seeds of Sustainability: Football Team Spends May Term Break Springing Into Service

April 22, 2009 -

Bulldog football players are springing into service during the May Term break, helping to spread seeds of sustainability.

Twenty-five team members from the University of Redlands are joining the U.S. Forest Service, the San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA) and L.A.-based TreePeople in the Forest Aid partnership for three days of planting and clearing.

Beginning Wednesday (Earth day), the football team is working on conditioning and team building while planting hundreds of seedlings in fire damaged areas in the San Bernardino National Forest. The athletes will have three days of hiking on rough terrain while carrying trees and tools into areas that inaccessible to nonathletic volunteers.

*The team is meeting Forest Service representatives off Golden Rule Lane at about 10 a.m. then will go back into the forest to work until about 5 p.m. Their involvement with the Forest Aid partnership will continue through Friday, April 24.

Forest Aid – from ashes to action – is a volunteer-led effort following the aftermath of the 2003 and 2007 tragic Southern California wildfires where 185,000 acres burned in the San Bernardino National Forest. Forest Aid intends to plant 20,000 seedlings in the 2009 planting season extending from March 7 – May 9, 2009. Nearly 12,000 Ponderosa and Jeffrey pine seedlings have already been planted by volunteers. According to U.S. Forest Service officials, this is the largest volunteer restoration effort on national forest lands in Southern California.

*On Saturday, the team will continue their clean-up efforts during the Redlands community service day, helping in trail restoration at Sylvan Park.

The team started their week volunteering at Oak Glen’s Wildlands Conservancy.

It’s become a tradition for the team to engage in community service projects during this week-long break between terms at the university. For two years, the team journeyed to New Orleans, spending their break mucking out homes in the hurricane-ravaged area.

The idea for this year’s green-themed service projects came from the university’s Community Service Learning office. The volunteer work helps these Bulldogs in team building—and is meaningful. It’s work that needs to be done, the coaches said.

Said Coach Maynard in an article in the San Bernardino County Sun: "We've tried to find projects that require strong backs and strong hands," said Coach Mike Maynard, whom players said is a champion of community service. "If we're able to help, we're obligated to help."

Read the story about the team’s community service effort on Tuesday:

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