Activate Southern has partnered with Collegedale’s Parks and Recreation Department in an effort to get Southern students and community members more active. They have created different groups that meet on Sundays and those involved will have the opportunity to do activities, such as running, volleyball, and mountain biking.
This partnership comes as the school’s Christian Service Department encouraged Activate Southern to reach out to the Parks and Recreation Department. As student wellness directors of Activate Southern, Kye Hache and Michael Spectht, are facilitating the decision to get students and community members involved.
“The partnership is to increase Southern’s exposure, to help the community and also to create more healthy activity options and social opportunities for students and community members alike,” Hache said.
According to Hache, there is a mutual benefit to these partnerships. Activate Southern will be involved in helping with community gardens to promote the Parks and Recreation Department, and in turn, the Parks and Recreation Department will promote Activate Southern’s activities.
Parks and Recreation program specialist Andy Stone said, “The college is in the community, and there has not been a lot of community involvement with the college or vice versa. …We want to help blur that line and actually integrate the community.”
According to Stone, this partnership can also help students get the volunteer hours required by the school by being more active around the community. Volunteering with the Collegedale Parks and Recreation Department would involve assisting with events and programs.
“We offer two different outdoor education classes that we would appreciate volunteers for; this includes our Eco Outdoors Explores with focusses on ecology and environmental science and our monthly Outdoor Classroom that we do in conjunction with the Collegedale Library,” Stone said.
Additionally, there is a community garden that is in the stages of being built, and Stone said, “It’s in need of volunteers.”
Senior social work major Emily Brewer said, “I think this is a good idea. It gives students a good chance to be aware of what is going on outside of Southern and volunteer outside of school.”