On a cold and rainy Saturday morning, 13 brave Buchtel High School students met at the Mustill Store/Cascade MetroPark at 8 in the morning with one goal in mind: get the trash out of their river. Twice a year, Akron’s Enviroscience runs a river clean-up on the Little Cuyahoga River in Akron. Volunteers were given trash bags, gloves and directions to pick up whatever trash they could find.
Ms. Busker, Mrs. Barnum and Ms. Swanson eagerly welcomed 13 Buchtel volunteers to join them this past Saturday, April 24. The students were assigned a rather difficult part of the river – they scrambled down the steep bank and began picking their way through a 50-yard section toward the bridge. They crossed the river several times in order to reach trash that had become hung up on rocks and trees. They even found a wayward football!
The students worked for almost two hours. They hoisted full trash bags up to the towpath above them. They helped each other and other volunteers who were there. The students from Buchtel stood out among the volunteers as they made jokes and even sang while cleaning the river. Buchtel students filled 20-30 trash bags, and that was only from their 50-yard section. “I came to help the river and clean our city," said 11th-grader DeAyer Kbyii.
Students were amazed when they learned that the trash they were picking up had come from the parking lots, roads, yards, cars and even businesses around Akron. They left with a sense of empowerment that they helped clean their city. Tremayne Jones, an 11th-grader, said, “I learned to watch what I litter because I see where it all goes, and eventually that water becomes our drinking water. I wouldn’t want to drink contaminated water.”
Jada Walker, an 11th-grader said, “I felt better because I know the animals have a better place to live.” Another 11th-grader, Elboni Slaughter, said of the experience, “It felt good, and I felt like I helped.”
Story submitted by Ms. Peggy Busker, Buchtel High School science teacher
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