It’s been nearly 50 years since the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown left Moxham for its current Richland Township campus home.

But Pitt-Johnstown hasn’t forgotten its Moxham roots, school officials said.

The college is officially kicking off what will be a seven-year committent to partner with Moxham groups to strengthen the city neighborhood through cleanup projects, after-school programs and other community service, said Natalie Bombatch, a Pitt-Johnstown spokeswoman.

The school will partner with the Moxham Renaissance and Russell House groups and others on a list of efforts to improve the community from both an aesthetic and safety standpoint, she said.

“We want to work with the neighborhood-based organizations that are already doing great work in Moxham to bring new life to the place where our institution established its roots on Cypress Avenue,” Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the people of that area, and an obligation to pay it forward.”

The effort is already underway, he said.

In recent weeks, more than 300 students and UPJ Student Affairs members rolled up their sleeves to mow, mulch and wood stain at Woodland Playground on Village Street and several other Moxham destinations, Student Affairs Vice-President Shawn Brooks said in a press release.

“I think it’s fantastic that Pitt-Johnstown is getting involved,” Moxham resident Todd Oldham said, adding he was “excited” to hear about the school’s commitment to the neighborhood.

Students, faculty and staff will return to Woodland on Wednesday to finish their cleanup work, Bombatch said.