NCAA Final Four Day of Service Aims to Leave a Lasting Legacy

NCAA Final Four volunteers revitalize Houston's Blodgett Urban Gardens.

Well before NCAA collegiate basketball fans started filling in their Final Four brackets, hundreds of volunteers joined the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four Local Organizing Committee for a special Day of Service in Houston on March 5.

Designed to create a lasting legacy that extends beyond the Final Four championship weekend (April 1-4, 2016), Final Four volunteers, along with members of Wheeler Avenue Boy Scout Troop 242, representatives from Coca-Cola, the Urban League, Texas Southern University (TSU) students, and the city of Houston Solid Waste Management Dept., joined project leader Keep Houston Beautiful in cleaning, organizing and beautifying a popular running trail at Texas Southern University and revitalized a portion of Blodgett Urban Gardens (BUG).

More than 100 volunteers planted 25 trees and revitalized the path along the popular trail that winds through the TSU campus. The volunteers also refurbished a vegetable patch at the BUG, with 400 vegetable plants, fresh soil, mulch and new spring greens. The garden plays a vital role in teaching local residents about various gardening techniques, including composting, growing herbs, and building greenhouses with recycled household materials. Produce grown in the garden is distributed to the Shape Community Center, Wesley Foundation, Pilgrim Community Center, and TSU student organizations.

“The trees and vegetables will certainly benefit the community by providing much needed fresh fruits and produce for the community. It was a real pleasure working with all of you and look forward to partnering on future projects,” said Darrell Bunch, executive director, buildings & grounds, TSU.