By Richard Zagrzecki
The sun was out in full force and the humidity was so thick you could cut it with a knife, but that didn’t seem to bother Nancy Palomo.
The department business administrator with Business Services was one of 74 students, staff and faculty who spent several hours picking up trash and pulling weeds across the University of Houston campus the morning of Aug. 7. The Campus Cleanup Day was organized by the UH Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management to help get the campus ready for the start of the fall semester.
“It feels good to be able to give back a bit when I have received so much from UH,” Palomo said.
In all, volunteers collected 805 pounds of waste, recycling and plant material. Palomo was part of a team assigned to the area around Calhoun Lofts, the East Parking Garage and Melcher Hall.
Volunteers were assigned to one of seven collection teams that were assigned a section of campus. A mattress, shotgun shell and bra were among the more unique items the teams found.
Senior Construction Project Manager Jerry Bogna was the leader of the volunteer team that was assigned to clean much of the residential section of campus. His team collected 159 pounds, which was more than any other team.
“The enthusiasm of the students and staff on our team was really uplifting,” Bogna said. “I felt like together, all the teams did something positive for the campus, and that was great to be part of.”
Cindy Granier, administrative assistant in the Administration & Finance Division, helped tidy up the area between E. Cullen and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture.
“I think it is very important to take pride in where you work and to help when possible,” she said.
Lisa Bourque, executive administrative assistant in Facilities Management, echoed similar thoughts.
“I think volunteering for events on campus gets other people to volunteer, too,” she said.
Sarah Kelly, program manager for the Office of Sustainability, emphasized the importance of taking pride in the UH campus and touted the success of the event.
“At every event that the Office of Sustainability hosts, we’re working to encourage a culture of sustainability on campus. Cleanup Day is the perfect example of that,” she said. “We had a great turnout this year, and we’re looking forward to even more participation next year.”