Broken glass and cigarette butts lay outside a home on the hill. A project sponsored by UCSU aims to clean up the hill. (CU Independent file/Morgan Hofmann)
University Hill can look a bit upside down after a long weekend of partying, which is where Adopt-A-Block comes in.
The Boulder community bands together each week for the Adopt-A-Block Competition, according to Eva Hueber, employee of the vice chancellor for Administration in Special Projects and previous director of neighborhood and city relations at UCSU.
Adopt-A-Block is a friendly competition between student organizations, residents and community members intended to encourage strong community relationships and raise awareness for the waste produced on the Hill.
Sponsored by UCSU, the Adopt-A-Block Competition will continue throughout the month of October during which volunteers will be held responsible for the cleanliness of their adopted block. Duties include raking leaves and picking up trash, Hueber said.
Groups are not restricted to the adoption of just one block.
Judging takes place every Monday and will be based off of pre-determined, cleanliness standards, according to Hueber. The winner of the competition will be announced at Folsom Field during the homecoming football game and will receive a gift certificate to the CU Book Store. A plaque with the winning group’s name will also appear on University Hill, Hueber said.
UCSU Tri-Executive Christine Thai, senior finance and integrative physiology major, explained UCSU’s primary purpose for sponsoring the competition.
“I think this program really fits in with the student involvement piece UCSU is working on this year,” Thai said. “Really just getting students to be aware of getting involved and having a sense of responsibility of what they do on the weekends.”
Hueber and the University Hill Neighborhood Association were inspired with the idea last year when trouble arose between residents and students.
“One of the big issues for Boulder residents was they loved living in a college town but the Hill really does get trashed on weekends and that is reflected on their neighborhood,” Hueber said. “That’s really not fair to them.”
Hueber added that the Adopt-A-Block Competition is a way for students to demonstrate their consideration for the Hill, and in turn strengthen their relationship with the residents.
To further community relations, volunteers are encouraged to focus on more than just the cleanliness of the block.
“If there’s something the residents feel they want to put on their block for decoration or any additional improvements for the block, volunteers can see if the residents are willing to pay for the additions and the volunteers can put the work in for it,” Thai said.
Barry Siff, Adopt-A-Block volunteer and candidate for Boulder City Council, said he was pleased with the results of the competition.
“I think the program creates great collaboration between residents and students in the Boulder community,” Siff said. “It creates a sense of sameness.”
Although satisfied with the results, Siff said he would like to see more community involvement in the future.
Both Hueber and Thai explained that the competition is still a pilot and felt that community involvement exceeded original expectations.
“I kind of thought it was going to be a couple groups and very small but we actually got more involvement then I thought,” Hueber said.
A total of 10 groups including Kappa Sigma, Off Campus Student Services, UCSU and City Council along with community individuals are currently involved in the competition, Hueber said.
The Adopt-A-Block Program will continue to accept volunteers up until the end of October, Thai said. Volunteers who sign up after the deadline will not be entered into the competition but may still contribute to the cleanliness of their adopted block.
“We will have a booth at the Hill Flea Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Hueber said. “People can come out and clean whenever they want.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kylie Horner at Kylie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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