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Workstock 2010 helps the Near Westside

A look at OrangeSeeds' "Big Event" and two ongoing projects in Syracuse's Near Westside neighborhood.

Students in Syracuse University’s OrangeSeeds program chose to focus on the Westside community downtown for their annual “Big Event” on April 24, bringing a group of 150 to 200 volunteers to clean up the area and help out with a variety of projects taking place there.

OrangeSeeds, a leadership program for first-year students, departed from previous Big Events by directing volunteers to just one area of the city, rather than spreading across multiple locations as it did in the past. And the result was a success, said Durrie Bouscaren, an OrangeSeeds member who spent the day planting a vegetable garden at a rehabilitated house at 617 West St.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be involved,” said Bouscaren, a freshman broadcast journalism major at SU. “It was amazing to work with people who are devoting their lives to improving the city area."

Much of the event’s success came from its location on the Westside. Wearing white T-shirts with “WORKSTOCK 2010” painted across the front in bright orange and blue, volunteers could shift seamlessly from location to location. While some chose to stay in one area throughout the day, others could take a five- or 10-minute walk across the neighborhood to any one of the seven work sites April 24. Students therefore came away not only feeling proud of their efforts, but also with a sense of how the Westside functions within the larger Syracuse community.

“As students, we’re all walled up in an Ivory Tower up here on The Hill,” said Bouscaren, one of the 26 “seeds” who helped plan the event. “Once you get down there and see everything, it drastically changes how you view the community."


Imagining Lipe Art Park

Artists, students, and volunteers combine forces to create art and vegetation out of a neglected space in downtown Syracuse. 




A New 601 Tully

SU professor Marion Wilson leads volunteers from Orange Seeds in re-thinking and shaping up a Near Westside house.




The seven sites of Workstock 2010

An interactive guide to the locations and projects from the 2010 Big Event.

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