Alpha Epsilon Pi honored for community service commitment to Himmel Park
Hailey Eisenbach / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tucson Clean & Beautiful awards UA Fraternity Alpha Epilson Pi for adopting Himmel Park and keeping it clean and functional on Jan. 16.
UA Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity members renewed their commitment to cleanup of a Tucson park and were honored in a ceremony Wednesday afternoon where members were presented with a certificate of park adoption.
The fraternity has logged more than 1,800 hours of cleanup for Himmel Park since March 2012, according to Jean Hickman, the Adopt-a-Park public areas coordinator for Tucson Clean and Beautiful.
The fraternity has been cleaning the park at least one Sunday a month for years, said fraternity president Hartley Wasko, a business sophomore.
Tucson’s Ward 6 council member Steve Kozachik was in attendance to show his support for the fraternity’s effort in cleaning up Himmel Park.
“This is an example of student groups we have and other non-profit groups all over the city who are saving the taxpayers money by stepping up to the plate and engaging in community service,” Kozachik said.
The cleanup effort stems from a partnership between the fraternity, Tucson Clean and Beautiful and the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department, according to Jim Conroy, the East Park District administrator for Tucson Parks and Recreation.
Tucson Clean and Beautiful is the coordinating force behind park cleanups in Tucson. Conroy said the department is “very grateful” and the fraternity has been a “tremendous help”.
However, the cleanup is not just a community service effort for the fraternity. Alpha Epsilon Pi has a connection with the area, as a former member of the fraternity founded Himmel Park, according to Wasko.
“We love to come here, and basically hang out here on Sundays. We don’t just clean it,” Wasko said.
Vice president of the fraternity Adam Helfenbein, a business sophomore, said that along with cleaning the park, members also report repairs that are needed to the Parks and Recreation department.
“We have a budget issue downtown. Everybody knows that, and so when groups do what these guys are doing, the taxpayers need to step up to the plate and say, ‘Hey, thank you,’” Kozachik said. “Because we don’t have the manpower or staffing to continually clean and maintain these parks, so [volunteers] are our life blood.”