About 200 UGA employees spread out across Athens-Clarke County—some even further beyond—on Nov. 16 for the third annual Public Service and Outreach Day of Service.

Volunteers contributed 350 hours beautifying trails and clearing invasive species at Sandy Creek Nature Conservatory, installing shelves for hardware at the Keep Athens-Clarke County Beauty community toolshed, planting daffodil bulbs along the Athens Loop and constructing pollinator gardens at Clarke Central High School.

Public Service and Outreach employees based in other Georgia cities, such as Chatham County and Grady County, participated in the Day of Service in those communities.

The annual event even attracted employees outside Public Service and Outreach.

Franklin Leach, an assistant research scientist in the department of chemistry, spent the day sawing and spraying invasive, unwanted plant species at Sandy Creek Nature Conservatory’s Pine Ridge Trail. Leach first learned about UGA’s land- and sea-grant mission when he participated in the 2018 New Faculty Tour in August.

Franklin Leach helped PSO students, faculty and staff clear unwanted plant species at Sandy Creek Nature Conservatory’s Pine Ridge Trail.

“My family comes to Sandy Creek a lot, so I think it’s important to contribute to the upkeep in any way possible,” Leach said. “It’s a nice way to get out and give back.”

David Meyers, public service associate in the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, hung up shelves, hooks and pegboards for equipment in the Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful community toolshed, used by nonprofit organizations across town to build and repair projects.

“Public service is in our name, so it’s good to live it out,” Meyers said. “Projects like this can help other groups do their jobs better, and organization lends itself to effectiveness.”

Making the toolshed a place for fast and easy access to supplies helps other nonprofits use their limited time and resources more efficiently, rather than digging through piles of tools.

The Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful community toolshed, used by nonprofit organizations across the community, is organized and ready to be utilized. 

“A lot of groups around town, like schools, community gardens, other nonprofits, wouldn’t have access to shovels or tools to complete projects without this toolshed,” explained Stacey Smith, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful education specialist. “It’s amazing PSO helped organize it and installed our new sign. It will create a ripple effect across Athens for other nonprofits.”

Employees also donated to a supply drive to benefit families and communities affected by Hurricane Michael. PSO collected more than 900 diapers, 151 bars of soap, 84 toothbrushes and many other essential supplies during the drive.

The Archway Partnership, a unit of Public Service and Outreach, set up a donations closet in Cairo, GA for those impacted by Hurricane Michael. 

“I know that every day, we are making a difference in people’s lives and creating a lasting impact. The Day of Service is a time for all of us to come together and tangibly meet the needs of our communities,” said Jennifer Frum vice president for Public Service and Outreach. “I am honored to work with colleagues who live out the land- and sea-grant mission of the University of Georgia.”

Vice President Jennifer Frum joined volunteers in writing cards to accompany Turkeypalooza food donations.

The Office of Service-Learning, one of the eight units of Public Service and Outreach, identified site locations, registration details and logistics for the Day of Service.


Writer: Leah Moss, leahmoss@uga.edu, 706-583-0962

Contact: Josh Podvin, jhpodvin@uga.edu, 706-542-4511