The Colorado College Collaborative for Community Engagement held its Week of Action in October, when students, staff, and faculty participated in community-based projects.
“The goal is to offer a week of activities that aim to mobilize our campus community to engage with the Colorado Springs community and encourage ongoing engagement throughout the year,” says Sarah Elsey, the CCE student engagement coordinator.
Events included a cleanup of Monument Creek as part of Creek Week, building walking and biking trails with Concrete Couch, and planting garlic at the CC Farm.
“Even though garlic planting fell on a cold and rainy afternoon, we had enough people at the farm to plant all of our garlic for this season. We’re really excited to see how our work unfolds in the Spring,” says Hannah O’Leary ’23, a student farm field manager.
Concrete Couch, a CCE High Impact Initiative partner and community partner, was involved in several Week of Action events. The campus community helped build biking and walking trails. Students also cared for trees at Concrete Coyote, a community park in Colorado Springs.
“Students helped us build trails at the community park, Concrete Coyote. They also helped with a tile mosaic project at John Adams Elementary,” says Steve Wood ’84, executive director of Concrete Couch. “No matter what the project is, CC students, alums, and staff rock!”
Concrete Couch works to connect people and build communities through its programs and projects. The organization hosts free programs for community members, including children and senior citizens. Additionally, Concrete Couch works with organizations, groups, and schools, to build parks, playgrounds, and gardens.
BreakOut hosted the trip to Concrete Couch. BreakOut is a group through the CCE that aims to break students out of the “CC bubble” through community engagement with local organizations, says Kylie Orf ’24, student director of BreakOut. BreakOut hosts trips to community organizations every Saturday and during block breaks and other breaks. Students work in various positions at a local soup kitchen, building trails, community art, and farm work.
“It is a great way for students to get connected with Colorado Springs and can open doors for internships and other connections within these organizations,” says Orf. Students helped restore soil and build trails during the Week of Action’s Saturday trip.
There were positive collaborations on- and off-campus throughout the week, including eight community partners and nine campus collaborators, with engagement from students, staff, faculty, and CC family members, says Elsey.
“I loved that the week was centered on collaboration with local partners and helping them meet needs that already existed instead of coming up with a bunch of new programming,” says Maddi Schink ’23, the student director of community-engaged scholars.
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