Local Green Students Not Afraid to Get their Hands Dirty

Local Green Students Not Afraid to Get their Hands Dirty

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Laetitia Brock
September 22, 2012

One thing is for sure, students in the Local Green civic engagement project are not afraid to get their hands dirty!


On September 22nd, students went to Brier's Mill Run in Riverdale, Maryland to remove trash and debris that pollute the nearby streams. This project was arranged through the Anacostia Watershed Society, one of Local Green’s community partners.


Students had great suggestions on how the watershed could be better used or preserved. Tim Verheyden, a student at Hogeschool Universiteit in Brussels, was shocked by the amount of trash found at Brier’s Mill Run, particularly by the number of beer bottles so close to a middle school.


Tim said “education is very important in preserving the watershed” and that “taking [the children] out to the watershed and having them help clean it up prevents them from thinking that it is OK to trash the watershed.”


The following week, over 30 Local Green participants volunteered at the D.C. Green Festival.  They helped guests dispose of trash in appropriate trash bins (based on whether the waste could be recycled, reused or composted). Others went through trash bags to make sure they had been sorted properly and that there was no contamination among the resources.


David Kowalski, a student at Bowling Green State University, said it was “was really eye-opening [to see] how careless people can be about waste...even at a convention about being green.”


It was even more eye-opening for Melissa Lamastus, a student at Universidad Latina de Panama, who said she never had this kind of experience in Panama, “where recycling is very limited.” Before the festival, Melissa wasn’t sure what “compostable, recyclable, and landfill” even meant. She said understanding these concepts was “one of the most significant things I learned from the festival.” She now hopes to take these environmentally friendly lessons back with her to implement in her community!



[View photos of the event on our Flickr channel]

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