The long anticipated rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the students during the fall service days. Lead by newly appointed Assistant Director of Experiential Education, Laura Brown, students removed blackberries, mulched trails, and planted hundreds of trees and plants on campus. Despite the soggy conditions, students worked together, braved the mud, and challenged themselves.
“It was so great to see everyone interacting in a different way than we do on a day to day basis,” says Brown about her first Service Day at Overlake.
During the summer road widening construction project, many trees and plants had to be removed. Arborist, Adam Harke worked with Overlake to help plan how to replant native vegetation. On the service days, he worked alongside the students which allowed them to learn about the planting process from an expert and find out more about what an arborist does. The forest will now regrow with native vegetation over the coming years planted by student hands who are making a difference in the lives of future Owls.
While some students planted plants, others spread mulch creating safe paths, allowing plants to flourish, and helping the maintenance staff who work tirelessly to make sure Overlake is a beautiful and inviting home for students to thrive. Brown sees the planting and mulch work as a metaphor for their relationship to the campus. “We don’t always see what is being planted, but over time we benefit from it,” she says.
One of the themes of the day was stewardship. Before they went out to work, Brown invited students to consider stewardship of the land as a form of service. She shared presentations with each division that helped them consider how they can make an impact and care for the spaces that they use and learn in everyday.
“I hope they gained some awareness of themselves in this community, what their role can be, and how they can be agents of change. I hope they experience gratitude for their peers, mentors, and this land,” she says.
Click here to see photos from the Middle and Upper School Service Days.