South Cariboo students clean up the town

Horse Lake Elementary’s Elijah Ratcliff and Reid Milward climb inside a tire looking for garbage during an Earth Day cleanup. (Patrick Davies photos - 100 Mile Free Press)Horse Lake Elementary’s Elijah Ratcliff and Reid Milward climb inside a tire looking for garbage during an Earth Day cleanup. (Patrick Davies photos - 100 Mile Free Press)
Ronan Gill stuffs some trash into a bag helpfully held open by his classmate Jaxon Herrett during an Earth Day cleanup at Horse Lake Elementary.Ronan Gill stuffs some trash into a bag helpfully held open by his classmate Jaxon Herrett during an Earth Day cleanup at Horse Lake Elementary.
Donna Forward’s Grade 8 to 10 French Immersion class from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School were out picking up trash along Highway 97 and Birch Ave for Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Donna Forward’s Grade 8 to 10 French Immersion class from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School were out picking up trash along Highway 97 and Birch Ave for Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Grade 10 PSO students Desirae Thorsteinson and Megan Holyk pick up some trash from behind 7-Eleven on Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Grade 10 PSO students Desirae Thorsteinson and Megan Holyk pick up some trash from behind 7-Eleven on Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Grade 10 PSO students Desirae Thorsteinson and Megan Holyk pick up some trash from behind 7-Eleven on Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Grade 10 PSO students Desirae Thorsteinson and Megan Holyk pick up some trash from behind 7-Eleven on Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Issac Todd lugs a bag of trash collected by his classmate on an Earth Day Cleanup. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Issac Todd lugs a bag of trash collected by his classmate on an Earth Day Cleanup. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile Elementary sent classes out throughout Earth Day to clean up Centennial Park include Ms. Swan’s Kindgergarten/Grade One class. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)100 Mile Elementary sent classes out throughout Earth Day to clean up Centennial Park include Ms. Swan’s Kindgergarten/Grade One class. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Robert Gardener holds up a discarded snack while cleaning up Horse Lake Elementary’s School Yard. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Robert Gardener holds up a discarded snack while cleaning up Horse Lake Elementary’s School Yard. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Zita Jones hunts for some trash in the field beside Horse Lake Elementary while Raven Garland holds a garbage bag.Zita Jones hunts for some trash in the field beside Horse Lake Elementary while Raven Garland holds a garbage bag.
Zita Jones hunts for some trash in the field beside Horse Lake Elementary while Raven Garland holds a garbage bag. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Zita Jones hunts for some trash in the field beside Horse Lake Elementary while Raven Garland holds a garbage bag. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Zita Jones tosses some trash into a trashcan held up by her classmate Avery McBride. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Zita Jones tosses some trash into a trashcan held up by her classmate Avery McBride. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Nikaylee Greene and Riley Wright. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Nikaylee Greene and Riley Wright. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Hunter Richard (from left) dashes back towards his teacher Kyra Hopson (not pictured) along with his classmates Marek Hartley, Ryder Bouwknecht and Amirah Jensen at Horse Lake Elementary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Hunter Richard (from left) dashes back towards his teacher Kyra Hopson (not pictured) along with his classmates Marek Hartley, Ryder Bouwknecht and Amirah Jensen at Horse Lake Elementary School. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Reid Milward, (from left) waits eagerly with his classmates Declan Krahn, Elijah Ratcliff and John MacNeil to see who can pick up the most trash for Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Reid Milward, (from left) waits eagerly with his classmates Declan Krahn, Elijah Ratcliff and John MacNeil to see who can pick up the most trash for Earth Day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Alexi Greene and Abigail Thomson race by with litter in hand while cleaning up Horse Lake Elementary’s yard. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Alexi Greene and Abigail Thomson race by with litter in hand while cleaning up Horse Lake Elementary’s yard. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Hunter Richard holds up some trash found on the grounds of Horse Lake Elementary School.Hunter Richard holds up some trash found on the grounds of Horse Lake Elementary School.

Keeping the Earth clean and healthy was on the minds of scores of students in the South Cariboo last week.

While big community clean-up events were cancelled due to COVID-19, local students did their part to make the community a little greener during Earth Day on April 22. Dozens of students, staying within their own cohorts, could be seen all day with trash bags in hand as they collected litter, cigarette butts and other trash.

At Horse Lake Elementary School, students treated the cleanup almost as a game as they competed to see who could pick up the most litter. Grade 7 students Nikaylee Greene and Riley Wright said they were glad to see everyone at school come together to clean up their schoolyard.

“Especially because we have a forest on our schoolyard. There’s a lot of animals like squirrels and birds, so if they see something shiny they could mistake it for food and feed it to their young and kill them,” Nikaylee said.

The two said the Earth has done so much for humanity and even a little action like picking up trash could have a huge impact. Riley said it would be great if every day could be Earth Day.

Selene Ball’s Grade 2 class was bouncing across the schoolyard in their excitement to pick up litter.

READ MORE: Forest Grove Elementary School students participate in Earth Day

“If we don’t pick up garbage there will be litter all around us and it’d just be disgusting. We don’t want that because it could kill some of our plants,” Selene said.

At Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School, the cleanup efforts were organized by the Social Justice Club, according to Grade 10 students Desirae Thorsteinson and Megan Holyk. Holyk said teachers volunteered to take different cohorts out to different parts of the town.

“Everyone went out at a certain time to pick things up,” Thorsteinson said.

Holyk said despite the wind, it was a nice day to be picking up garbage, even if there was a lot of it on the streets as “people are just throwing away so much nowadays.”

Thorsteinson added most of their classmates were into it, although some were just going for a walk. Still, she said the day is all about doing what you can to help make the Earth a better place.

Even homeschoolers got into the Earth Day spirit. Sara Jones, a stay-at-home mother, took her family to Gold Trail Recycling for a tour. There they learned about all the things that they could recycle, and she said their guide was great.

“Then we decided to come to Centennial Park and be in nature for Earth Day. We were going to clean up but it’s been nice to see there wasn’t a ton of garbage so we just decided to play,” Jones said.

Jones said her kids told her Earth Day was the best day ever. She personally thinks it’s important for them to learn how to care for and respect the Earth. Carrying the lessons of the day on, Jones said she has reached out to B.C. Forestry to acquire a couple of saplings to plant with her children.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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