Black Hills State University students are changing the way people view spring break. A team of eight students and one advisor will spend next week working to recover the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve in Florida.

“The alternative spring break club allows students to make a large impact on an organization or park that doesn’t normally have a lot of help,” said Michelle Hammond, alternative spring break advisor. “It helps students transfer from an egocentric view to worldly.”

The team will be in Florida until March 10. The students will be working with environmental specialists and the Friends of St. Joseph Bay to help recover the preserve. Some projects the team may work on include clearing paths and, painting fences, cleaning up trash and signage, and removing logs from flooded areas.

The team works on a specific community service project locally before and after spring break but participates in a variety of community service year round. This year the team donated time to the Spearfish D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery. “I’m looking forward to the team really coming together and acting as a cohesive unit to vastly benefit the St. Joseph Bay State Preserve,” said Hammond.

Last year, the BHSU alternative spring break club visited the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary in California. , “Last Year we turned the zoo upside down in a good way. It was amazing to see how the team pulled together. The club works to help others while traveling to new places and forming connections with people,” said Lorrin Anderson, corporate communication major from Winner and also the club’s team leader.  

Other students can also help their community by donating their time to local charities such as the Fish Hatchery, Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, the Humane Society, or senior citizen centers. For more information on how to lend a hand contact Michelle at Michelle.Hammond@BHSU.edu or by calling (605) 641-0161.