It was all about cleaning up at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) on April 23, where students set out for their annual Earth Day community cleanup.
“It’s something we’ve done every year,” said Tai St. Pierre, a social studies teacher. “It’s just kind of an environmental club tradition that we’ve kept going this year and we had a really awesome turn out, I think better than we usually do, so that was good.”
Ray Kline, another teacher at the school who organized the event, estimated that between 400 and 450 students and teachers helped out this year.
The students were assigned in small groups to different areas of the village with latex gloves and garbage bags to fight their battle against litter.
Last year, the school went out as a big group, but Kline said they decided on the small groups this year to give teachers more options.
“Some didn’t want to do it, so we just gave them the option. If they want to sign their class up they can,” he said, adding that smaller groups are also more efficient.
By 11 a.m., the school had tackled most of the areas on their map, except the Centennial Park area and a small portion near the elementary school, due to police presence.
To entice students to help clean, the school organized a free barbecue afterward for those who volunteered. Both regular burgers and veggie burgers were offered, in accordance with the plant-based diet theme of Earth Day 2019.
PSO also had educational booths about endangered species at the barbecue, such as the wild bumblebee, and more information on plant-based diets.