Student Association president senior Dakota Ellis pursued an idea inspired by President Bruce McLarty to clean up part of Harding’s backyard: Gin Creek.
When Ellis asked President Bruce McLarty about what this year’s SA could do, the Gin Creek project came up. Both McLarty and Ellis saw this as an opportunity to get students involved on campus.
Gin Creek was overgrown and had plenty of unused potential, and this project was designed to clean it up and make it a recreational spot, featuring fire pits, hammock posts and a great view of the creek.
“It was a no-brainer,” Ellis said. “To me [this project] seemed like a fun thing to do.”
This summer began Phase One of the three phase initiative. Ellis worked hard to help make this idea a reality and had help from others all over campus. Athletic Training students and teachers, almost one thousand Impact students, the Bisons football team and many others helped to clear the campus.
Energy group leader junior Sheridan Gray helped with the Impact group and said it took only a few shifts of two or three hours of hard work to make a difference.
“I did get a blister on my thumb,” Gray said. “But it was worth it to help out with this project.” Phase Two will begin with placing the fire pits and hammock posts. The goal of completion is during Homecoming Oct. 21, when it will be dedicated. While the beautification of Gin Creek is important, the fuel behind this project is what is important to Ellis. “Why do a project if there’s not any kind of spiritual significance?” Ellis said. “Cleaning up a creek is not spiritually significant to do, but it is stewarding our environment and being able to recognize God’s beauty more accessibly.” In Spring 2018, the project will continue to pick up. Phase Three is The Psalms 1 project. The Psalms 1 project is an idea from Harding board member Dr. Michael Justice. The project is based on Psalms chapter 1, focusing especially on verse 3, “…that person is like a tree planted by streams of water.” The project is to plant trees by Gin Creek as a reminder not only to grow among peers but to grow with God. The true beauty of this project comes from everyone involved in the process. Many hard-working hands and encouragement have been and will continue to be in this project. “It’s a neat thing to work hard with others,” Ellis said. “Because it grows you as a person and build your relationships.”
Written by Carson White