While other high school students took standardized TCAP tests and studied for ACTs last week, seniors at Dolores High School got their hands dirty in a service learning project.
On Monday, March 17, the Dolores High School senior class boarded a bus for Joe Rowell Park to clean up the park, baseball field, Dolores Clubhouse, and surrounding areas - projects that would take until March 21 to complete.
"We have an awesome park in Dolores where I spend a lot of time," said Josh Munson, the high school government teacher in Dolores who organized the projects. "Over the past few years, I noticed that some parts of the park needed some TLC."
The class was split into different groups with varying tasks. The group at the baseball field repaired benches and bleachers and coated them in fresh paint. They also prepped the field for the season. Lines were painted on the basketball court by the park.
"These projects connect students to their community because some of them are baseball and basketball players, or they helped build the playground in the park when they were very young," Munson said.
Other projects included picking up trash in the park and the river trail, trimming the vegetation along the river trail to make it easier to reach the river, painting the old tile wall at the playground, and re-raking the wood chips in the playground to make landings safer for children who fall. The Dolores Clubhouse also received freshly painted signs and newly stained benches.
The seniors and Munson were pleased with the results.
"The project has been a lot of fun and a great success. We have helped the Town of Dolores maintain an important aspect of the community," Munson said. "Work like this is rewarding because you can see the tangible outcomes for years to come."
The project may continue to reward future senior classes, as a similar project might be planned next year.
"I look forward to organizing many more community service projects like this in the future," Munson said. "This is one of the most rewarding parts of my job as a Dolores High School teacher. I love this town, and the students do too!"
Munson and the seniors were assisted by local businesses, which donated over $1,000 worth of supplies for the project including wood, tools, hardware, paint, and painting supplies. These businesses include New Look Paint and Custom Flooring, Choice Building Supply Ace Hardware, Slaven's True Value, The Dolores General Store, Pro Build, Home Depot, and The Ponderosa Restaurant. The seniors also thanked the Town of Dolores for giving them the opportunity, teachers Mrs. Webster, Mr. Simpson, Mrs. Ryan, Mrs. Loughery and Mr. Gallaher, and the Hopcia family.