Sitting in clover and pulling weeds was a pleasant way to spend Tuesday afternoon for some Creighton University students spending their fall break in the Wabash Valley.

“It’s therapeutic on a day like this,” said Ameer Chughtai, a sophomore biology major from Nebraska.

With a light breeze and unseasonably warm temperatures — thanks to global warming, Chughtai said  — he worked with fellow biology students Alyssa Yuen of Hawaii and Lindsey Mack of Iowa as they pulled weeds in the gardens of the White Violent Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence.

Other Creighton students were serving elsewhere as part of the week-long trip organized through the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice at Creighton University, which promotes truth and justice as students engage in community service, reflection and action on behalf of justice and sustainability.

The clover was planted as a cover crop to prevent soil erosion during the winter. The students also will help with garden maintenance and work with the alpaca herd.

Yuen had her first experience with the alpacas on Tuesday morning as she cleaned out their stalls, while Mack did the evening chores on Monday.

The students are all focusing on sustainability as part of their education, and they will incorporate what they learn through their fall break trip on future advocacy projects, Mack said.

”We focus a lot on service, so that opens up a lot of opportunities like this,” she said.

The relationship between the White Violet Center and Creighton has been in place about 10 years, and the center relies on the college students who fill in where other volunteers cannot.

The students are staying at a guest house hosted by the sisters, and they are enjoying their daily interactions.

”We find them to be pretty witty,” Chughtai said of the sisters and their lunch conversations.

Also on the agenda for the students will be volunteer opportunities this week at the Helping Hands thrift store in West Terre Haute.

<\Iz14>Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.

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Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.