More than 2,000 new Northwestern University undergraduates began the school year last month by cleaning parks, planting gardens, painting playground equipment, washing cars, harvesting vegetables and socializing with senior citizens.

In its inaugural year, SCAPE – Serving Communities and Promoting Engagement – sent incoming Northwestern freshmen and transfer students to more than 40 sites around Evanston and Chicago between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. to take part in a day of community service.

Among the students’ Evanston projects were the creation of a butterfly garden at Washington School, working with crops at the Talking Farm and painting and cleaning The Family Room.