Dozens of Northeastern students braved ice, snow banks, and slush puddles to help the city of Boston shovel out following record snowfall in recent weeks, clearing sidewalks, pathways, and fire hydrants on Gainsborough Street, St. Stephens Street, and Westland Avenue.
The Boston Globe highlighted Northeastern’s commitment to clearing snow from nearby neighborhoods and Mayor Marty Walsh thanked the makeshift crew of snow-removers on Twitter on Thursday.
The snow-removal effort ran from Thursday through Saturday and was organized by the Center of Community Service, Off Campus Student Services, University Facilities, The N.U.in Program, and the Department of City and Community Affairs.
The students worked in two-hour shifts, mobilizing in the East Village lobby at designated times throughout the week and utilizing shovels that had been purchased by the university.
Due to forecasts of even more snow, the effort will resume this weekend, beginning at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Volunteers trekked from East Village to the Back Bay Fens on Thursday afternoon, donning reflective vests and wielding shovels emblazoned with #NUshovelsboston. Upon arrival, they cleared the walkway leading to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s visitor’s center, which welcomes up to 5,000 guests per year.
“This is a good opportunity for Northeastern to show that it is a force for good in the community,” said Andy Frederick, AMD’15, who braved the bitter cold in a heavy black jacket. “ I can imagine local community members have difficulty getting around with all this snow.”
Kelly O’Foran, AMD’15, noted that the round-the-clock effort of Northeastern’s snow-removal team inspired her to help. Over the past three weeks, the crew has utilized 120 tons of rock salt and 50 pieces of heavy equipment to clear snow from all 66 acres of campus land. “The snow-removal team has been working their butts off,” said O’Foran, who bundled up in a fleece headband. “They’ve been out there at all hours of the day and night.”
In addition to keeping campus safe for the Northeastern community, the team cleared the sidewalks and MBTA bus stops on Melnea Cass Boulevard, from Tremont Street to Washington Street, and, in years past, has removed snow from the space surrounding the ENC visitor’s center. This time, the student volunteers dug in.
“I’ve been so impressed with the students,” Julie Crockford, the president of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, said in a phone interview on Friday morning. “They appear to be having fun under terrible conditions and we are extremely grateful.”