The BHSU alternative spring break team spent 10 days working on recovering St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve in Florida. Pictured, back row, left to right, Elizabeth Fickbohm, Kelsey Dvroak, Kayla Williams, Nathan Naasz, Dietric McConnell. Front row, Jessica Nelson, Andria Nguyen, Lorrin Anderson.
Black Hills State University students who are part of the University alternative spring break team made their way back to Spearfish after a 10 day trip working on recovering St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve in Florida.

“All around, the trip was a huge success. I am very thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait until next year,” said Lorrin Anderson, corporate communication major from Winner and also the club’s team leader.  She said the team worked really well together and her favorite part of the experience was the memories and bonding with the team and site volunteers.

The team worked   on several different community service projects. The eight students who participated worked with two other volunteers from St. Joseph Bay to help recover the preserve. Some of the main projects the team accomplished while visiting included: disposing of medium and large size hog traps in the area; removing debris and garbage from the storm surge; and cleaning up the visitor site as well as several areas of the preserve to beautify the bay and make it a safer environment.

“It’s up to each individual to fully commit to the project, and depending on their passion and attitude they can take a great deal from that experience,” said Michelle Hammond, alternative spring break advisor. “It’s not all about the project, but also about lasting
BHSU students Lorrin Anderson, left, and Kayla Williams clean up around the St. Joseph Bay preserve.
memories and the relationships that are formed.”

Each day was given a specific “theme” to help the team work together and accomplish their goals. The themes consisted of several positive expressions such as, knowledge, team work, communication, attitude, and achievement.

The alternative spring break team will conclude their academic year by performing their final community service project with a trip to Devil’s Tower where they will provide assistance in cleaning and other improvement projects. Performing community service allows the students to understand the true meaning of community service in a local, regional, and national way, says Hammond.