Students joined the annual Source To Sea Cleanup on Saturday Sept. 24.
The Source to Sea Cleanup was held from Sept. 23 to 25. The main date promoted by KSC was Sept. 24.
According to the Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD) website, “Each fall, a large group of enthusiastic volunteers pitch in to help clean up the Ashuelot River in Keene and Swanzey and Beaver Brook in Keene as part of the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s ‘Source to Sea Cleanup’”.
The major cleanup sites for Source to Sea in Keene were Beaver Brook and Ashuelot River Park. The clean up was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For students that wanted to attend the clean up at Ashuelot River Park, they had the ability to be driven out to the site due to it being far away from campus.
Some students joined the clean up at the Beaver Brook site off of Water Street in Keene.
Senior Emma Sonnati was with her friend senior Allison Clougherty. “I came because we volunteered last year and actually had a lot of fun. It’s fun to clean up the environment,” said Sonnati.
Clougherty added that she wanted to “be with [the] community” as another reason for joining the effort.
Jessica Gagne Cloutier, director of student involvement, said they have a limited role in the clean up. She said, “From a Keene State perspective, what we are doing is helping to inform that larger planning group… so that they can solidify when they schedule their major clean up in Keene and the driving information out to the students.”
“We’re really trying to encourage students to get involved in the [cleanups] that are close to campus,” Gagne Cloutier said.
Amanda Littleton, district manager for the CCCD, briefly stopped by the Beaver Brook site after working at the Ashuelot River site. She said, “What’s cool, I think, because the river conservation is the lead organizer, it’s a part of a multi-state effort.” By being this way, she said each clean up site along the river and its tributaries can compare each other’s stats and see how much each collects. She said the Source to Sea Cleanup “draws attention to the importance of the waterways in the district.”
On average, they collect anywhere from 1500 to 2500 pounds of litter during the clean up locally, according to Littleton.
City council and Keene conservation committee member Bobby Williams was there to help out running the Beaver Brook site. He was making sure people signed in and gave out trash bags to those who were participating. He said they “remove an awful amount of trash” during the clean ups.
He said, “This is a way to catch [the trash] before it eventually goes to the Connecticut River and the Long Island sound.”
Additionally, Williams said the city of Keene does clean ups in the spring that cover similar locations but are more focused on the whole city.
Tim Bruns can be contacted