Anna Beach ’22


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Outdoor Volunteer Efforts

What involvement did/do you have with MOVE? What program did/do you volunteer with and/or lead? What years?
I have been primarily involved with Outdoor Volunteer Efforts (OVE) since my first year at St. Mike’s. I’ve participated in some other programs, like FEED and blood drives, but I fell in love with OVE very early on!

What’s your MOVE story?
I first signed up for OVE after a friend of a friend said that he spent his Friday afternoons helping out at the campus farm. I’ve always loved gardening at home and missed getting my hands in the soil, so I began volunteering each week at the farm with a vibrant and friendly group of students. There’s something about the farm that makes it easy to cultivate new friendships, which made my first year at St. Mike’s special. My sophomore year, the student leaders who ran OVE had moved on to other opportunities. Although I found other ways to interact with the farm and the College’s natural area through Green Up, I wanted to revive OVE and allow other students so they, too, could discover ways to engage with the natural world and the local community. Unfortunately, COVID-19 delayed the plans my friend and I had to bring back the program, but we were able to safely get it up and running in the fall of our junior year. Now, we are both deeply involved with the Farm Program through both OVE and the Farm and Food Intensive course!

In what ways did/does MOVE impact you?
MOVE has given me the opportunity to connect with both beautiful people and a beautiful landscape through service. It is deeply fulfilling to gather students from across campus to both celebrate and work with the natural world, whether it is through tasks on the farm or through ecological restoration efforts for the old cornfields in the natural area. OVE has also led me to realize that reciprocity is the future of our relationships with each other and with the places we live. To give back to the systems that support us while strengthening our connection to each other as volunteers is grounding, especially when COVID has restricted our activities and disrupted many of our relationships.