BHSU students spend spring break cleaning Mississippi River shorelines

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, March 23, 2015/Categories: 2015



   

   

   

       

           

       

       

           

           Black Hills State University students participated in the Alternative Spring Break program March 8-14. Students traveled to Memphis, Tenn. to work with the non-profit Living Lands and Water collecting trash along the shorelines of McKellar Lake off the Mississippi River. Those attending were top row, from left: Josh LaFountain, corporate communications major from Casper, Wyo. Hannah Sheffield, Spanish education major from White Seth Courtney, east complex director at BHSU Hanah Parr-Paul, elementary education major from Newell Karley Gulle, elementary education major from Casper, Wyo. Preston Hammond, outdoor education major from Van Wert, Ohio Michelle Cole, assistant director of residence life at BHSU and Elizabeth Kessel, Bismarck, N.D. Bottom row, from left, Ashley Stover and Mike Coyne-Logan, of Living Lands and Waters Hannah Rodgers, biology major from Wasilla, Alaska Amber Thomas, Rapid City Sonja Pederson, elementary education major from Sioux Falls and Brittany Kneebone, elementary education major from Box Elder.

            

       

       

           

       

       

           

           A group of Black Hills State University students collected approximately 41,000 pounds of trash during a week-long Alternative Spring Break project in Memphis, Tenn.  

            

       

   



A group of Black Hills State University students spent their spring break making an environmental impact.

Ten students, along with Michelle Cole, assistant director of residence life at BHSU, and Seth Courtney, east complex residence life director at BHSU, spent a week in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program. ASB is an organization dedicated to civic engagement, volunteer and leadership development. Students spend one week completing a community service project with other student volunteers from colleges and universities across the country. A BHSU group traveled to Tennessee March 8-14

This year, college students worked with the non-profit organization Living Lands and Water, collecting waste along the shorelines of McKellar Lake, just off the Mississippi River. While working with the organization, students focused on learning about environmental stewardship, conservation and personal consumption.

Students that participated in ASB included:

&middot Karley Gulle, elementary education major from Casper, Wyo.

&middot Preston Hammond, outdoor education major from Van Wert, Ohio

&middot Elizabeth Kessel, Bismarck, N.D.

&middot Brittany Kneebone, elementary education major from Box Elder

&middot Joshua LaFountain, corporate communications major from Casper, Wyo.

&middot Hannah Parr-Paul, elementary education major from Newell

&middot Sonja Pederson, elementary education major from Sioux Falls

&middot Hannah Rodgers, biology major from Wasilla, Alaska

&middot Hannah Sheffield, Spanish education major from White

&middot Amber Thomas, Rapid City

Cole said the trip allowed students to witness the extreme impact trash can have on the environment.

The BHSU team worked with 20 other college students and collected approximately 41,000 pounds of waste, which included plastic bottles, tires, car parts, refrigerators, aluminum cans, Styrofoam, toys, shoes and more. About 85 percent of the waste will be recycled at various locations in Tennessee.

"It was extremely devastating to see the massive amounts of trash surrounding the lake," Cole said. "However, it was rewarding to see the difference and progress our team was able to make."

Brittany Kneebone, elementary education major from Box Elder, said she was always aware of pollution problems, but seeing the massive piles of trash first-hand was eye-opening.

"This really got me second guessing the decisions I make and thinking about what I can do on campus," Kneebone said. "Already I use my refillable water bottle and when I do have a plastic bottle, I go the extra step to make sure it&rsquos recycled."

Karley Gulle, elementary education major from Casper, Wyo., also gained an increased awareness for the environment and learned just how long ignored waste can sit along a shoreline. She noted the massive amounts of Styrofoam that lined the ground.

"I will never look at Styrofoam the same way," Gulle said. "The pieces break when you pick them up and do not decompose, meaning the cups, take-out boxes or plates littered stay there for decades unless someone cleans them up."

Each year the BHSU ASB group chooses a trip that focuses on relevant social or environmental issues. Cole said the ASB trips provide an opportunity for students to develop a passion for volunteerism, build teamwork and practice communication skills.

"Alternative Spring Break directly reflects part of BHSU&rsquos mission," Cole said. "This program focuses on providing service to the state, region, nation and global community. We prove year after year that ASB is a success. Our B-H community, as well as the Spearfish community, can see our students truly care about becoming compassionate, hardworking and dedicated citizens."
Print

Number of views (295)/Comments (0)

x
script src="/Portals/_default/skins/bhsu18/js/bootstrap.min.js" type="text/javascript">