BMM Department Outreach for Earth Day 2023

In honor of Earth Day, the Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine Department, with the support of Servando Arredondo from the United Way, organized a volunteer activity to aid with trail restoration at Coopers Rock State Park. With over 30 volunteers from the department consisting of faculty, students and staff, around three miles of trails were tended to.

Sarah Starcovic, a graduate student in the BMM program expressed, “As a scientist who works 'behind the scenes' most of the time, it is important to be present in the community. Being part of the trail rehabilitation at Coopers Rocks gives students the opportunity to get out of the lab and help clean up the community that cares for them!”

Adam Polinski of the Coopers Rock Foundation, Brian Hurley of the Friends of Decker’s Creek, and Rick Landenberger from the West Virginia Land Trust, acted as activity leaders guiding volunteers throughout the day. The leaders provided valuable education about the park and conservation of outdoor community spaces.

The department volunteers and leaders worked diligently from noon until five in the late afternoon. Utilizing tools like shovels, rakes, and mattocks, the trails were cleaned up with some new areas added to help guide water off the maintained paths. In the time spent on the trails, there was already a great difference with the paths drying up.  The group was enthusiastic seeing their hard work creating these visible improvements to the trails.  

Samantha Thompson, another BMM graduate student stated, "I loved being able to come together as a department to do something that benefits the community as a whole. Getting out of the lab for the day to volunteer at Cooper's Rock was a fantastic experience that allowed me to think of the community that supports and benefits from the work that I do."

The BMM department looks forward to continued efforts in community outreach and future service efforts.