Students and community members worked throughout the city to cleanup parks and walking areas.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students volunteered with members of the community to clean up and groom 17 different areas in the city on Saturday.
Participants in the 22nd annual Community Day of Service split into groups and were bused to locations that included Joe Wolfe Field, Brayton Hill, Windsor Lake and various areas on the North Adams walking loop.
"It's really exciting to think that in a few hours this city, in many ways, will be transformed, and it has to do with the passion and commitment of volunteers," Spencer Moser, coordinator of MCLA Center for Service and Citizenship, said.
This year, the day of service had a health and wellness theme. Amanda Chilson, Mass in Motion project coordinator, said a healthy environment and healthy citizens are directly connected.
"You want to keep your community's environment healthy to encourage people to go out and use it," Chilson said. "If the community is clean, then you are taken care of."
MCLA senior Stacy Fisher said the service day helps MCLA students get more involved in the North Adams community.
"A lot of people from the MCLA community don't feel included in the North Adams community, and this is a good way to do that," Fisher said. "It's important to recognize that we do live here for most of the year, and it is important that we understand that because what happens to the community will affect us in school."
MCLA freshman Charlita White said the day of service is a great idea and she would like to see other areas participate in a similar project.
"I live in New York, and we don't do things like this," White said. "Normally you just hire people to do this kind of thing, and I think this would be something to implement in New York."
Mayor Richard Alcombright addressed the students and said that their efforts will help strengthen the city.
"We are, in a sense, a hurting community today with the closure of our hospital, and I think that the folks in our community will see you out there today and see the presence that you make," he said. "The joy that you will bring to them will probably be immeasurable at this point in time, and you will be a prominent display of what community is all about."