Students Work to Beautify Tech, Neighborhoods on Saturday

On Saturday morning, Georgia Tech students, staff and faculty will work to spruce up campus, along with several neighboring communities.

Tech Beautifcation Day
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Students work during Tech Beautification Day

More than 50 projects—involving spreading ground cover, planting projects, painting and trash clean-up—will be under way, as 700-plus volunteers participate in the annual Tech Beautification Day (TBD). Student volunteers plan, organize and facilitate TBD every year.

“This whole project is overseen by students," said Institute Horticulturist Donna Chronic. “Campus planting beds have been prepped, and facilities will work with [project supervisors] ahead of time to explain the projects and we’ll have someone on site for help, but TBD students will supervise anywhere from eight to 30 students per project site.” Facilities has procured three tractor trailers of pine straw, which will make up the bulk of the projects. Some trees will be planted, keeping with the Institute's Tree Campus USA status, but most of the projects will be smaller in scope this year.

Volunteers check in starting at 9 a.m. at the Campanile, and work begins at 10. Since projects such as laying sod are time-sensitive and must be completed, volunteers who finish up their projects will be moved to those. Some new projects on campus this year include cleaning up the volleyball courts and a more focused Greek housing clean-up. “We extended an invitation for them to hold clean-up projects on their own yards,” said fifth-year mechanical engineering major Mike Goodman, who is also vice president of Projects for TBD. “We’ll provide the tools, and they’ll get points for Greek week.” Prior to the event Goodman said roughly 15 houses had signed up.

According to Goodman, more than 1,250 spots around campus have been identified. “There’s always something people can do,” he said. This is especially true since TBD organizers are going off-campus with their efforts. Both the Home Park and English Avenue neighborhoods will be the recipients of some Tech-powered sprucing up. “We’re working with the Home Park Community Improvement Association and an English Avenue church group,” he said.

Members of the TBD Executive Committee start planning the initiative in January. Students help raise funds from sponsors, sign up volunteers and get the word out. “What always amazes me is [TBD] is almost always crunch-time for students, yet they still are able to coordinate and get this done,” Chronic said.

Goodman said he and other members of the committee will pick up tools from the Atlanta Tool Bank on Friday, and they will be ready to go at 6 or 7 Saturday morning. “It’s hard to fit in the schedule, but it’s worth it,” said Goodman, who has been part of the annual event for several years.