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MU Students Help Maintain Rock Spring Park in Remembrance of Former Classmates

Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Each year, the Marymount community sets aside a day of remembrance and service to honor students who have died. For the past four years, Remembrance Day has been marked by helping to beautify Rock Spring Park, which is close to campus in Arlington. Again this year, MU students joined Rock Spring Garden Club members for their Earth Day clean-up activities.

Marymount students were accompanied by Bill and Linda Howard, parents of Tara Howard ’09, who was tragically killed in a car accident while she was an MU student. Tara was a dedicated volunteer and a Marymount Spirit of Service Scholarship recipient. The Howards praised the students for their work and called the group “Tara-rrific.”

Pruning, pulling weeds and invasive plants, and digging up saplings were the tasks of the day. Working side-by-side produced a great sense of camaraderie among all the volunteers.

Lillian Catts ’15, a Business Administration major and senator for her class, said, “Not only did it feel great to give back, but it gave me a chance to chat with other members of the community, who really appreciated us taking the time to serve. It made me feel closer to my peers at Marymount, and to the Arlington community as a whole.” Senator Elyssa Giordano ’14, a Politics major who is also a class senator, added, “It was not only a great bonding experience, but a great way to volunteer my time…Next year's Remembrance Day, as well as other volunteer projects, will be a top priority for me.”

Rock Spring Park is situated on close to 1.5 acres and includes a stream, paved paths, trails, and a wide variety of plants and trees. Over the past 30 years, the Rock Spring Garden Club, in conjunction with Arlington County Parks and Recreation, has transformed the park into an oasis of serene beauty.

In recognition of the club’s ongoing commitment to beautify Arlington, Arlington County awarded Rock Spring Garden Club the Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Award in the group category. Bill Thomas served Arlington County for more than 20 years and was an active member of Friends of Arlington Parks and the Parks and Recreation Commission.

In accepting the award, Rock Spring Garden Club President Thea McGinnis thanked Marymount students for contributing to the effort, saying, “The students do a tremendous job and are a pleasure to work with. We in the club respect and admire their dedication, and we appreciate their hard work.”

The Marymount community is honored to play a small part in maintaining Rock Spring Park for the enjoyment of all.

Story and photos by Bob Brown '15
PHOTO 1: Lillian Catts '15, a Business Administration major and senator with Marymount’s Student Government Association, displays some of the dead wood that she picked up.

PHOTO 2: MU Coordinator of Leadership Development Brandon Jenkins (right) and Student Government Senators Juna Luzi ’15 (foreground; Economics in Society major), Noah McGrath ’13 (Criminal Justice), and Lillian Catts ’15 (Business Administration) assist a member of the Rock Spring Garden Club with removal of a large tree limb.

Anusha Sunkara '15, a Business Administration major saws a tree branch.
PHOTO 4: Some of the volunteers pause for a photo: Left to right -- Juna Luzi '15 (Economics in Society), Kenneh Koroma '13 (Health Sciences), Terri Orwenyo '14 (Nursing), Lillian Catts '15 (Business Administration), Noah McGrath '13 (Criminal Justice), Alexi McHugh '15 (Health Sciences), Elizabeth Jahr '14 (Politics), Bob Brown '15 (Communication), Madihah Zubair '14 (Business Administration)