ACTC students, employees and their families are invited to the annual fall cleanup of Grayson Lake State Park. “This is a good opportunity to help make our area a better place to live,” said Shawn Brown, ACTC Assistant Professor and one of the cleanup organizers.
The cleanup is a community service project organized by Brown and ACTC Professor David Childress several years ago to help the US Army Corps of Engineers and Marathon Petroleum Corporation gather up trash from the park’s public areas.
ACTC’s participation began as a grant-funded service learning project in Brown’s Introduction to Computers class. Service Learning is an opportunity for students to give back to the community and learn while doing so. Faculty and staff became involved in the cleanup as a community service project they could do with their families.
“The Grayson Lake cleanup involves environmental education, Service Learning, volunteerism and a strong sense of accomplishment,” said Childress. “It has inspired a number of my Introduction to Computer students to create PowerPoint presentations on "Going Green" and promote conservation and recycling.”
Although the grant funds that started the project ended some time ago, the cleanup continues because of its benefit both to the participants and to the community. “Marathon Marine has been helping for the past four years, and we’ve had Cub Scouts, Girls Scouts and several service groups join us in past cleanups. We’re glad to have everyone’s help,” Brown said.
Those who want to participate should sign up by September 9 with Shawn.Brown@kctcs.edu or David.Childress@kctcs.edu and should include the number of people in the group. Children are welcome as long as they are closely supervised.
The cleanup will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until about 2:00 p.m. Grayson Lake is about 40 miles from Ashland, and participants will meet at 50 Launch Ramp Road in Grayson. Participants will need to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated and should wear work clothes and closed-toed shoes, with an extra layer of clothing for cool weather.
“There will be several opportunities throughout the day to walk, drive or ride on a boat to accomplish the necessary tasks,” Brown said. “We will be picking up trash and people should be prepared to get their hands dirty – or wear gloves.” Past cleanups have resulted in filling an entire portable trash unit plus tires and other items that are disposed of separately.
“This cleanup is a chance to improve our environment while we work with others and build camaraderie, Brown added. “It’s a very worthwhile event for everyone involved.”