Putting Sustainability Into Practice

Environmental Club Takes Park Cleanup Head-On


Photo courtesy of Arina Gart

Members of the environmental club have fun saving the environment in small ways such as cleaning up trash at parks. This time, the club went to Milburn Park. “It was a fun way to get to know other people from different schools,” junior Arina Gart said. “I felt [like a] part of the school and satisfied in going a different way than everyone else.”

Rachana Kommineni, Reporter

The environmental club hopes to “provide volunteer opportunities and fulfill the mission of a better, cleaner earth.” The club is run by Doc. McPherson every Monday at 4:30 p.m. President of the environmental club, senior Miranda Noren, organizes the guest speakers and park cleanups that happen once a month. This time, the park cleanup was held on Nov.16 at Milburn park. 

Members of the club brought protective gloves and trash bags. In groups of two to five people, they went around the park and picked up any trash they saw. The club hopes to promote the use of public spaces like parks and help stop littering. 

Sophomore Kaci Craddock joined the environmental club this year and plans to remain in the club till she graduates. She said she decided to join the club because she is profoundly interested in saving the planet. 

“The club is a place where I am able to talk about the issues facing our environment and promote environmental awareness at our school and in the community,” Craddock said. “It spreads awareness and brings me opportunities like the park cleanup with people that really care. Doc acts like a literal second parent, and I love feeling part of that.”

Sophomore Diana Salazar attended the environmental cleanup. This is also her first year in the club, and she, too, wants to stay until she graduates. According to Salazar, park cleanups are a fun way to be involved in the community and promote environmental awareness.

“I went [to the park cleanup] because I wanted to meet the people in my club and talk to them,” Salazar said. “It’s [really] hard to socialize this year and get to know everyone’s names, [and this event] is a fun way to save the environment.”

Craddock believes that park cleanups are important because Milburn and other neighborhood parks are places everyone can go and spend time. They are meant to be areas where people can play or exercise, and by doing the park cleanup the club aims to promote the idea that we should keep our public spaces clean for all to enjoy.

“As humans I think we have a duty to take care of the planet, [as] it’s our only home,” Craddock said. “Simple things such as a park cleanup can help keep our community clean and enjoyable for everyone; clean parks won’t do any harm to no one.”

Salazar discovered that people can make new friends by helping the environment. She feels that people don’t have to be in a club to do park cleanups and that they can do it on their own time and it will be just as enjoyable. 

“People are very interested as to why so many teenagers were picking up trash at the park, two people even asked me what I was doing,” Salazar said. “I discovered that through our park cleanup initiative, we are not only cleaning parks for everyone’s enjoyment, we are actively spreading our message of the importance of keeping parks litter free.”