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Facilities, NUPD team up for community service project

Two-dozen volunteers from Northeastern Facilities and NUPD teamed up for a community service project Thursday in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, where they spent the morning cleaning up a playground at a family shelter.

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Throughout the morning, volunteers hauled away garbage, planted flowers, laid new child-safe mulch, power-washed children’s outdoor play equipment, and tended to other landscaping needs. They also brought a shipment of diapers for families at the shelter. Facilities also worked with one of the university’s vendors, Tree Tech Inc., to remove dead trees and bushes from the property a day earlier—clearing the way for Northeastern’s cleanup effort Thursday.

Photos by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The shelter is part of Project Hope, a multi-service agency that helps families in Boston move up and out of poverty by providing a range of education, housing, and job services. Rosa Almanzar, director of the family shelter, said she greatly appreciated the effort, noting the great care volunteers took in their work that would otherwise have been labor intensive and expensive for the shelter to undertake itself. “It will be much safer for our children,” Almanzar said of the playground as Northeastern volunteers cleaned it up.

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Thursday’s cleanup is the latest in an on-going effort by Facilities to partner with other university offices on community service projects in Boston. Maria Galarza, manager of administration and special projects in the Facilities and Campus Planning divisions, has spearheaded the effort. Since June, Facilities has teamed up with other offices on a variety of community service efforts, including one last month at the Martin Luther King K-8 School in Dorchester that involved helping teachers clean up and organize their classrooms in preparation for the first day of school.

Additionally, NUPD’s participation in Thursday’s cleanup is part of the department’s ongoing “Lends a Hand” community service program.