Cross Country Volunteers in Racine
Published: October 21, 2014
By: Mark Albanese
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside men's and women's cross country squads utilized its day off to give back to the local community, engaging in a pair of service projects around Racine on Sunday, October 19. The Ranger men performed a variety of tasks at the 78-acre River Bend Nature Center while the women's squad volunteered at the Villa Street Community Garden.
The men's squad assisted with general trail maintenance at River Bend for the third consecutive year. Ranger student-athletes repaired wood chip trails, eliminated and burned invasive plants and winterized canoes and kayaks. Parkside runners additionally assisted in repairing some soil erosion at the Center. Having utilized the trails at River Bend for training the men's squad recognizes the importance of giving back to the organization.
"We love using the trails to train and decided it would be a wonderful idea if we gave back to the people who make our experiences better," said KJ Matuszak. "River Bend treats us like family and we couldn't be happier helping them out for a few hours and we look forward to working with them again in the future."
Across town, the women's team was hard at work at the Villa Street Community Garden. Villa Street is an urban garden that allows community members to rent raised plots to grow their own flowers, fruits and vegetables. Some of the plots and walkways at the urban garden were overgrown with women's cross country student-athletes assisting in pulling weeds, discarding trash while creating new paths with wood chips.
"We understand the importance of getting involved in the community and enjoy paying it forward," said Kelsey Steenstrup.
The Ranger men's and women's cross country squads return to action on Saturday, Nov. 8, competing at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships hosted by Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.