UO and UPS join volunteers to get their hands dirty for a cause

University of Oregon students and student-athletes, side-by-side with UPS employees and Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah staff and volunteers, will plant and mulch more than 1,000 trees and shrubs.

EUGENE, Ore. – (Oct. 30, 2014) – On Sunday, Nov. 2, approximately 125 volunteers will head to the 155-acre South Meadow in Buford Park to get a few ‘mud stains for the floodplains.’

The collaborative group of volunteers from UPS, University of Oregon athletics, Environmental Studies Program, UO office of sustainability, and Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah will build upon their shared commitment to community stewardship and pride in volunteering as they plant and mulch more than 1,000 native trees and shrubs to restore the rare floodplain forest.

“Partnering with UPS, UO Athletics and the UO Sustainability Office will involve a new cadre of more than 100 volunteers to care for this treasure,” said Chris Orsinger, executive director of Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah. “Floodplain forests along the Willamette River support dozens of aquatic and terrestrial species. This work party highlights the community involvement that is a hallmark of the Friends’ work in the greater Mt. Pisgah area.”

This project brought together groups with existing partnerships and leveraged them in a new way. “UPS has been a supporter of UO athletics since 2011 and we are excited to extend our support off the field and into the community,” says Allen Goodall, UPS division manager. “For more than a decade UPS has celebrated Global Volunteer Month during October, encouraging employees to give back to their communities and help reach the company’s goal of 20 million volunteer hours by the end of 2020. This volunteer project is a natural fit marrying our commitment to service with our Global Forestry Initiative. Since 2012, The UPS Foundation and UPS employees have planted more than three million trees across 47 countries to support the environment.”

When the opportunity presented itself to bring together a corporate sponsor, Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah, UO athletic staff and students as well as community volunteers, Steve Mital, UO’s sustainability director, jumped in to help coordinate the effort.

“We are always looking for new and interesting ways to engage our student community, grow shared values of our sponsors and make a real impact on the local community and natural areas we all enjoy,” said Mital. “Restoration of this area increases its biological richness, something we all treasure.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Mazze, Volunteer Coordinator, Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah. Cell: 650 862 5423; Office: 541 344-8350; E-mail: volunteer@bufordpark.org

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with a point-of-origin Vyvx connection, which provides broadcast-quality video to networks worldwide via fiber optic network. In addition, there is video access to satellite uplink, and audio access to an ISDN codec for broadcast-quality radio interviews.