Litter Clean Up

IMG_5003By Ashtin Morgan and Laura Shrake

Cardinal Valley held its annual Valley Park Clean Up event to educate students about the environment with hands-on experience.

The event began around 9 a.m. on April 16th with 62 community volunteers from Cardinal Valley, Bluegrass Greensource, Home Depot, Girl Scouts and the University of Kentucky.

Bluegrass Greensource Education Director Pattie Stivender anticipated the event would carry on past 12 p.m, but finished early as a result of the turnout.

“The people were gung-ho and we managed to clean up more… Normally we stop at the bridge but we went on past because we had such a large group,” Stivender said.

Over 30 trash bags were filled up, collected and stowed onto the garbage truck.

Each bag contained mostly bottles, car parts and metal scraps, but a few unusual items were stumbled upon.

“We found some interesting things… the heaviest was a couple of comforters that were tied together in the water so the weight made them pretty heavy,” Stivender said.

This event is especially effective during the springtime because students get a chance to witness how the park collects trash over the winter.

By providing students with hands on experience, they are able to enjoy themselves while learning about a natural habitat.

The Environmental Educator at Bluegrass Greensource Ashley Bryant Cheney says the park would stay relatively clean if it wasn’t for the creek.

“Anytime you have a waterway that runs through an urban area it collects a lot of trash… so it’s always a place that needs to be cleaned up,” Cheney said.

Cheney also participates in an environmental education program with students at Cardinal Valley.

She enjoys providing students with resources to learn about environmental sustainability.

“In that community there is a lot of ESL and kids who don’t get as many benefits as some of the other schools do so I like to provide them with education and as many resources as we can offer so that they get all the benefits,” Cheney said.

Cheney works closely with the schools science teacher, Adonya Boyle, who helped coordinate the event and bring in volunteers.

“She really instills with them to care for the environment… and why you should pick up litter so she talks about the dangers that it causes to wildlife and the negative effects it has on water quality so the kids come out and they know that it’s not just ugly,” Cheney said.

The litter clean-up programs continued the following week as Bluegrass Greensource hosted their biggest event of the year with 22 participating counties, Main Street Clean Sweep.  

The events are funded by LiveGreenLexington, a collective program between Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Bluegrass Greensource.

Details

  • Where: 2077 Cambridge Dr. Lexington, KY 40504
  • When: Saturday, April 16th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Who: Cardinal Valley community members and Volunteers from Bluegrass Greensource
  • Bluegrass Greensource staff will provide bags, gloves and litter grabbers.
  • SAFETY GUIDELINES:
    • All volunteers must wear gloves when picking up litter
    • Stay clear of traffic and always remain at least 6 ft from any traffic line.
    • Use extreme caution when crossing conventional, two-lane highways; plan to use crosswalks and signals where available.
    • Do NOT handle any hazardous wastes or potentially hazardous materials – including motor oil, gasoline, batteries, syringes, plastic containers that smell or appear to contain noxious materials, etc.
    • If you are to find any hazardous materials, they should be noted for a follow up by the City’s Hazardous Materials Specialist
    • Avoid stepping on nails or broken glass
    • Drink plenty of water Volunteers should NOT pick up any large, bulky items
      IMG_5004
      Pattie Stivender, Educational Director for Bluegrass Greensource, with Cardinal Valley Students

      IMG_5006
      Volunteers gathering after the event for lunch
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