Students gathered at the gazebo near Magnolia residence hall to participate in a Clean the Stream event, hosted by Rowan’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety.
For about two hours early Friday morning, students who attended picked up trash and recyclables around the campus drainage system. Since much litter on campus ends up in the stream eventually, it was emphasized that any trash found be put into a recycling or trash bag.
A large portion of the participants were from professor Patrick Crumrine’s Stream Ecology class. The class came to the event to help out and to do work for an upcoming lab, for which they had to record what they found while cleaning up.
Meghin Rollins, a senior environmental studies major who helped organize the event, contacted the professor in an attempt to get some water-resistant wader pants for participants. He instead offered to bring his students if the event was held on a Friday, which is when his class meets.
Part of the goal of the clean-up was to bring together the different environmental groups on campus to make one big group. Other environmental groups on campus include the Rowan Environmental Action League, the Green Party and the Rowan GEO Club.
Unfortunately, even with the class in attendance, not as many students came to the event as Rollins had anticipated.
“There’s not as many kids as I thought,” Rollins said. “We were expecting 75 kids, and we have [Professor Crumrine’s] class of 25 and five extra kids.”
Despite the low turnout, the main goal of the event, to clean up the campus, was accomplished. Groups consisting of two to five students split up around the campus to pick up trash, finding and disposing of things like tires, cans, water bottles and food wrappers.
“I had been looking forward to doing a clean-up event, but had never gotten the chance to,” Sharon Gonzalez, a senior psychology major, said. “Looking at the actual large bags we have and [the fact that] they’re actually being filled up is… eye-opening, because we don’t really see trash a lot, but once you’re in here, you’re like ‘oh people do throw trash around.'”
Gonzalez thinks this is a great event for everyone and wants to attend another Clean the Stream event in the future.
“It’s very hands-on, and I think a lot of people, when they go out to do something, they don’t want to be just standing around and [be] taught things,” Gonzalez said. “It’s more of actually doing something and this is a simple act that anyone can do, and anyone can learn how to keep it going, not just for this one day, but throughout the rest of their time here at Rowan… and in their lives.”
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