One UVA group gardens during the United Way Day of Caring

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (NEWSPLEX) -- The United Way Thomas Jefferson Area held their United Way Day of Caring on September 21 of this year. The event got people out of the office to help out in the community around Charlottesville.

One of those groups was the UVA Office of Engagement. That group worked several hours behind Greenbrier Elementary in the school garden.

Emily Anderson coordinates the garden at Greenbrier. "There's not a whole lot of maintenance during the summer,” said Anderson, “so it does get overgrown."

Weeding was the main concern, but fixing the fence was also necessary. "The kids do a lot of work, but they just can't do big things like climb up on the roof of the shed," said Anderson. The next big plan is to create a green roof on top of the shed next to the garden.

That project is to help prevent runoff and erosion. Margaret Fisher, of the UVA Office of Management, was glad to get her hands dirty. "We've been weeding all of the beds, we've made some areas flatter,” said Fisher. “Mud table we put back together, we fixed all the fences, and we've really made the garden look amazing since we got here."

The group is normally doing outreach with UVA alumni, now they are working in Charlottesville’s backyard. "I've loved being able to pick at the weeds today, use the hammer, and do some things to make a difference because I'm not able to do that on a daily basis," said Fisher.

The whole day has helped break the chain of the typical work day. "It gives you a chance to get out of your regular work routine and get out into the community that we live and breathe every single day," said Fisher.

Some plants will be put in like spinach or broccoli. The roof will ideally be ready before the first snowfall.

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