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Students work on trails and garden as part of Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break 2019
UNG students helped with trails and a heritage garden at Foxfire during Alternative Spring Break.

Ten University of North Georgia (UNG) students took part in an Alternative Spring Break service project at Foxfire, an Appalachian heritage center, in Mountain City, Georgia.

One group worked to maintain some of the trails UNG students cut during the 2018 spring break, and another group helped rebuild a heritage garden. All of the students learned about Foxfire’s efforts to uphold Appalachian practices such as heirloom gardening and seed saving which helps battle food insecurity.

Castiel Dixon, a senior from Buford, Georgia, pursuing a degree in literature, said the service trip from March 8-13 was a welcome break from his three jobs and classes.

"It was nice to get out in the woods and work with these tools and help this nonprofit clean up some of its spaces," Dixon said.

The team had a pre-trip service opportunity with the Appalachian Studies Center at the Historic Vickery House.

Students also had the opportunity to hike the Tennessee Rock Trail at Black Rock Mountain State Park in Rabun County, Georgia.

Lindsay Bailey, director of student involvement on UNG's Oconee Campus, said Alternative Spring Break benefits everyone involved.

"They don't have to go far away to help people in need," Bailey said. "They get this happy feeling of connectedness and doing something worthwhile with their time off. They get to make connections with other students and people in the community."

The people of Foxfire appreciated UNG students' efforts.

"They've already said they want us back next year," said Walker Boswell, a junior from Greensboro, Georgia, pursuing a degree in history.

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