WMU News

Volunteers needed for cleanup of historic East Campus

Oct. 1, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Phase III of an ongoing project to clean up Prospect Hill on Western Michigan University's historic East Campus will kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.

The project is being spearhead by a group called the Hilltoppers, which was formed to work with administrators and Landscape Services at WMU to improve and maintain Prospect Hill. The hill overlooks the Vine Street neighborhood and was the site of WMU's original buildings, but its dramatic view of downtown Kalamazoo has been marred by a decade's worth of volunteer trees and overgrowth.

The effort to clean up the hill and restore that view began in October 2001 when about 200 people turned out to clear a large portion of the bottom half of the hillside along Davis Street. During Phase II of the project in April, more than 400 volunteers cleared much of the hill's upper portion.

The third phase will now focus attention on the slope behind North Hall, WMU's first library building. Volunteers will be needed to work on the hillside, serve refreshments and staff the first-aid station.

Those planning to participate in cleanup work should wear boots, work gloves and protective eyewear. Volunteers will not be required to cut brush or bring any tools, as the material to be removed will be cut in advance by WMU's Landscape Services. Gloves and eyewear will be provided for those who don't have these items.

All volunteers are welcome. However, children age 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and those helping out on the hillside should be prepared to work on a steep incline.

Volunteers are asked to arrive at 8 a.m., if possible. Cleanup of the hillside will continue until the job is finished, but most work is expected to be done prior to 1 p.m. Members of the Hilltoppers are planning a fourth cleanup phase this coming April to continue making improvements in and around Prospect Hill.

To register for the Oct. 19 event or obtain more information, visit the Web at <www.wmich.edu/hilltoppers> or call (269) 387-3456.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu


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