SNHS Hosts Earth Day Clean-up at Pine Banks

All photos by Chaimaa Assli.

The Science National Honors Society (SNHS) knew that they wanted to do something as impactful as they could for Earth Day, but they did not know what exactly they should do. That was until they remembered their quite successful Malden River Cleanup from last year.

With inspiration from that event hosted by them the year before, the society decided to hold something similar at Pine Banks on April 23rd. The event itself was planned during FLEX block when the society sometimes finds the time to meet. Then the society’s advisor, Gregory Simone, tasked each small group with planning a hypothetical event. In the end, they voted on the Pine Banks clean-up; the idea was suggested by Edmond Chen, Sabrina Palencia Flores, Tiffany Chau, and Chloe Yuan who were later labeled as Lead Planners. 

Sammi Nie, a senior in SNHS, really liked the event and felt that it was “a great way for us to make a direct impact,” as the students were able to see the world around them as they helped. This helped them start their Saturday off strong as the event started bright and early at 10:30 AM. Then again, who doesn’t love the fresh air, bright and early on the weekends?

Originally Pine Banks was chosen because as Juliana Davidson, President of the SNHS and Senior student said, “we would like to eliminate any trash found alongside the trails and fields.” As many know Pinebanks may be one of the busiest parks in the area, as well as the largest with many many places to run, bike, play a sport or just have a picnic. Which then tends to lead to a lot of litter, from those who use the park’s free facilities. That’s why, as Chau mentioned, they “wanted to focus on public places.” 

In fact, the thing that everyone seemed to agree on that was their least favorite part of this cleanup, was just how much trash they had run into. 

“It really put things into perspective once we realized the amount of litter there was in the parking lot alone,” explained Chen. 

Davidson noted that unfortunately, the area with the most trash happened to be the area with the athletic fields and the parking lots, which tend to be the busiest, especially after school, when many sports teams meet outside. 

When coming up with a plan for the clean-up, Chen noted that they first came up with a list of materials. What exactly would they need to provide to host an event like this? Thankfully the list was not too long with only gloves and trashbags on it. Then after Simone reached out to the park officials to reserve a date for them, and to make sure that they were in fact allowed to clean up. But as expected the park officials were more than willing to accept help from the SNHS, so they ended up settling on their final date the 23rd of April.

A group of SNHS members looking over a cliff.

The clean-up itself went quite well. Many students enjoyed the event, such as Chen who commented that “getting involved can feel very fulfilling, and I was happy to contribute with protecting our environment.” Seeing firsthand what you and others can do together is always such a great feeling, many of the students confessed. Nie mentioned that “these are things I am going to miss the most" when she and the rest of the seniors graduate later this month. 

When it comes to hosting more events like this, Simone explained that they “might do a beach cleanup with at the end of the year, like near graduation.” He went on to say he would like to then spend the rest of the day after just having fun on the beach. Hopefully as a celebratory farewell for the senior students.

Though most of those who came to this event were SNHS members, they all had a great time celebrating Earth Day in the best way possible—by cleaning it up! They enjoyed spending time together, taking pictures and conversing with a local college rugby team! And with that, may there be more opportunities for us to contribute to our planet’s well-being.

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