Students join in Clean Up

clean up1By Fred Blauth | Photo Editor

On Saturday, Duquesne students, faculty and staff joined the Pittsburgh community for the city’s 24th Annual Spring Clean-Up, where participants helped clean the Hill District and South Side.

The event was open to anyone willing to help clean the neighborhoods. Everyone involved contributed to cleaning vacant lots, picking up litter and landscaping in designated areas alongside City Councilmen R. Daniel Lavelle and Bruce Kraus, the Hill District Consensus Group, Clean Green Hill and other organizations.

For three hours, Duquesne students worked with the community to not only beautify the area, but also form relationships with the community as well.

Luci-Jo DiMaggio, assistant director of Duquesne’s Spiritan Campus Ministry, helped to organize Duquesne’s role in the event and was impressed by how many students managed to come.

DiMaggio said that 550 students, 145 community residents from the Hill District and 35 South Side residents participated in the event.

“The most important goal for the Spiritan Campus Ministry is what the day does to grow the relationship between students and our neighborhoods in the Hill and on the South side,” DiMaggio said. “The best parts of the day are when we have students working side by side with the community members, sharing stories, and forming relationships.”

Duquesne students and faculty met outside Mellon Hall at 9 a.m. and were then divided into smaller groups to work on specific areas of each neighborhood.

Among the other organizations involved was Landslide Community Garden, a Community Development Corporation whose goal is to reclaim and repurpose areas in the South Side and Hill District areas.

“The area where we’re working in used to be one of the most diverse communities in Pittsburgh,” Landslide Community Garden Director Tamisha Ingletary said.

According to Ingletary, a landslide back in the late 1960’s or early 70’s destroyed over 70 homes in the area, leaving the area in shambles. Students who worked with LCG focused on repurposing the land and cleaning it to be used as shared areas for the community, such as food gardens accessible by all.

“This is our largest work day in Landslide Community Farm history,” Ingletary said. “I really appreciate everyone coming out to help.”

With a mission statement grounded in the principle of serving God by serving the community, Duquesne students, faculty and alumni did more than their part in giving back at the 24th Annual Spring Clean-Up.

“Community work based in relationship is a very Spritan approach and therefore uniquely reflexive of the way we do things at Duquesne,” DiMaggio said.

Photo by: Fred Blauth | Photo Editor

Caption: Duquesne students and faculty spread mulch on Saturday morning in the Hill District. The University partnered with Hill District and South Side community organizations during the 24th Annual Spring Clean-Up.