Notre Dame and Alabama to join forces for Miami service project

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Roots in the City Garden planted by Roots in the City

Alumni and fans from the University of Notre Dame will join their counterparts from the University of Alabama for a service project in Miami in conjunction with the BCS National Championship football game between the two institutions, to be played Jan. 7 (Monday) at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

In partnership with Roots in the City, an organization based in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami that aims to promote community development and beautification in inner-city areas, volunteers will come together Jan. 6 (Sunday) to build an urban garden, transforming a city lot into rows of raised garden beds and beginning the planting process.

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends from Alabama and the wonderful people at Roots in the City to roll up our sleeves to build a garden for the Overtown community,” said Dolly Duffy, executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association. “This project will allow us to continue our long tradition of service in locations around the country – and around the world – as we’ve traveled with the Notre Dame football team and fans for bowl and home-away-from-home games through the years. It will be inspiring and fun to literally get our hands dirty for such a worthy cause in Miami.”

Participants will meet at noon across from the Mount Zion Baptist Church (301 Northwest 9th St., Miami) for the project, which will last approximately four hours and conclude with a celebration for participants and members of the local community. Notre Dame alumni and friends wishing to help should register by calling or emailing Katie Rutledge, service programs director for the Notre Dame Alumni Association, at 574-631-6723 or

The Notre Dame Marching Band and cheerleaders are expected to drop by during the project, along with other special guests.

Founded in 1994, Roots in the City is a nonprofit, community-based organization that is focused on community development, creating jobs and beautifying Miami’s inner city. The organization has established several community gardens and tree nurseries in Overtown.

Contact: Katie Rutledge, Notre Dame Alumni Association, 574-631-6723,