PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From mulching, to picking plants, the Northview Heights Garden in the City of Pittsburgh was packed with people Saturday.

“We have a great group of consistent gardeners here in Northview Heights working on this garden, but it really helps to have some serious manpower to get some soil moved and some mulched moved to get these beds ready so we can plant them in the Spring,” said Grow Pittsburgh’s Rachel Brunner.

That manpower came from students from the University of Pittsburgh. Nearly 5,500 students from the Oakland campus registered to take part in “Pitt Make A Difference Day.”

They were spread out over dozens of sites.

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“We had about 40 students here today in the community garden helping them winterize the garden and get ready for next year’s crop,” said Janine Fisher.

The students joined with people of all ages from the community, even the kids pitched in. While the day is designed for Pitt students to give back, it ends up being so much more. It’s a chance for neighbors to meet neighbors and work together.

“Service is a key core component at the University of Pittsburgh and our students really do consider the city their campus, so they love getting out and just being involved in the community and giving back,” Fisher said.

The effort drew a record number of volunteers this year. For the first time ever, all University of Pittsburgh regional campuses took part in the day.

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