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Freshmen travel to Coyote Valley for annual community service trip

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Freshmen travel to Coyote Valley for annual community service trip

A group of freshmen walk along a trail to their next trail repair site at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. “I’m most looking forward to… getting the opportunity to see my advisees get closer together. [If] we get out there and put in some sweat and some elbow grease into this project, I can’t imagine something that would make us bond more closely together,

A group of freshmen walk along a trail to their next trail repair site at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. “I’m most looking forward to… getting the opportunity to see my advisees get closer together. [If] we get out there and put in some sweat and some elbow grease into this project, I can’t imagine something that would make us bond more closely together," freshman advisor Scott Odekirk said before the trip.

Arya Maheswhari

A group of freshmen walk along a trail to their next trail repair site at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. “I’m most looking forward to… getting the opportunity to see my advisees get closer together. [If] we get out there and put in some sweat and some elbow grease into this project, I can’t imagine something that would make us bond more closely together," freshman advisor Scott Odekirk said before the trip.

Arya Maheswhari

Arya Maheswhari

A group of freshmen walk along a trail to their next trail repair site at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. “I’m most looking forward to… getting the opportunity to see my advisees get closer together. [If] we get out there and put in some sweat and some elbow grease into this project, I can’t imagine something that would make us bond more closely together," freshman advisor Scott Odekirk said before the trip.

by Arya Maheswhari, Reporter

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The Class of 2021 traveled to Coyote Valley for the annual freshman community service trip to do environmental work yesterday, receiving five service hours for their efforts at the reserve.

The Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, located between San Jose and Morgan Hill, spans 348 acres and is home to a diverse range of wildlife and plants. The freshmen worked with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, an organization focused on protecting the environment, advocating for and supporting farmlands and connecting the public to nature.  

The freshmen were split up into two large groups and subsequently assigned to separate tasks to start off the day, switching roles after lunch. Working to renovate trails and remove invasive plant species amidst native grasses, their actions helped to make the park more sustainable and enjoyable for visitors while also helping the environment as a whole.

“It’s really great that we’re having a trip to make us more involved environmentally, especially with all the wildfires and everything that’s happening,” freshman Hari Bhimaraju said.

While the primary focus of the excursion was on the efforts to preserve and restore parts of the wildlife reserve, the trip also served as an invaluable experience in advisory and class bonding for the freshmen. Before the trip, freshman advisor and speech and debate coach Scott Odekirk commented on waiting to see exactly this in action.

“I’m most looking forward to… getting the opportunity to see my advisees get closer together,” Odekirk said. “[If] we get out there and put in some sweat and some elbow grease into this project, I can’t imagine something that would make us bond more closely together.”

Each year, students in every grade must complete 10 hours of community service; this trip served as an introduction into service for freshmen, fulfilling half of their necessary hours for this year. Many participants, like freshman Andy Lee, enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the Bay Area community, with each student’s work adding up to achieve a bigger goal.

“It was an eye-opening experience to put in some effort and give back to the community,” he said. “I think it’s really rewarding to see how my individual effort in terms of community service can make a ripple effect and help the community as a whole.”

No academic classes occurred during the day, with the sophomores and juniors taking PSATs while seniors stayed at home to work on college applications.

Correction: October 13, 2017

A previous version of the caption for the second picture in the below photo gallery mistakenly identified San Jose Councilman Chappie Jones as a trip docent. The caption has been corrected.

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Freshmen travel to Coyote Valley for annual community service trip