Monday, March 20, 2017
University Illinois Student Volunteers Enjoyed Oyster Restoration Work Most
Hailey Hawkins spent as much time around bleach as she did on a beach the past week while in Florida. But the University of Illinois Springfield junior has no complaints.
But much of the work wasn't glamorous. Hawkins spent two days scrubbing the under side of a roof with bleach at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in Freeport.
Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center, said each student paid $150 and had to raise funds for the rest to go on the trip. Once in Florida, the group stayed at the Community Collaborations International campgrounds near DeFuniak Springs. The university picks places that offer a different experience than what students could get in Springfield, Dochterman said. "I think students bring back a different sense of purpose when they go and give freely to a place they have never been before," he said. UIS junior Regina Bolin also traveled to Florida last week. Bolin said her favorite part was being exposed to the variety of eco-restoration projects underway in Florida. The work this year was hard at times, but Bolin said it was enjoyable knowing that she and her classmates helped make a difference.