Dean Shearer (foreground), Mike Magana (background), Darby Lawrence (center) and Julia Montes-Muozo (right) planting various vegetables. Photo by Luis Lopez.

Volunteer efforts in Jefferson Community Park


The Youth Educational Services (YES) held a volunteer event for Humboldt State students on Feb 10. The event was held at Jefferson Community Park where volunteers were tasked with planting a garden for the community.

Dean Shearer operates the volunteer opportunity programs for YES.

“Jefferson Center is a community run center,” Shearer said. “If five or 30 people show up, it doesn’t matter. Any help is much appreciated.”

Not only did the members of YES show up, HSU fraternity Chi Phi showed up to assist Jefferson Community Park with the planting of the garden.

“I‘m here because I love to hang out with my friends and this place is perfect for that,” Chi Phi member Eddie Castillo said.

Another member of the fraternity, Sergio Maciel, said he was involved for the community service aspect.

“I think that it’s great for the fraternity to go out and do something good for the community,” Maciel said.

Members of Chi Phi doing their part for the community. Photo by Luis Lopez.

Richard Evans, vice president of the park, lives near the former school building turned community park.

“It used to be a school that was closed down in 2012,” Evans said. “The community was tired with the city not doing anything with the building so we bought it and now it’s a park for the community to enjoy.”

The Jefferson Community building contains many resources for people to utilize. There is a certified kitchen for the public to use, space to hold public forums and a playground for children.

“The community wanted change for the closed down school,” Mark Weller, the deputy director of the Jefferson Community Park, said. “Events like this are open to any student from HSU who are outside of YES house.”

Heidi Benzonelli (far left) and Mark Weller (center) helping volunteers put soil on the truck bed. Photo by Luis Lopez.

Heidi Benzonelli is the president of the Jefferson Community Park.

“[It was] another awesome day, way beyond what we expected,” Benzonelli said. “The park is coming into shape with the outpouring of volunteers.”

For people who were not able to attend this event, the community park is always looking for volunteers to help with the park.

To volunteer or learn more, you can visit or follow on Facebook.

All the volunteers who came in to help the Jefferson Community Park on Feb. 10. Photo by Luis Lopez.


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