Cleaning up Haldimand: a team effort from JCCS

JARVIS—Jarvis Community Christian School (JCCS) students recently participated in an outdoor cleanup challenge. Students not only helped to clean up Haldimand, but learned so much along the way. Families from JCCS that chose to participate in this challenge collectively picked up well over 80 bags of garbage along Haldimand trails, roadsides, fields, and private properties. Shown above is Fletcher, Isla, and Quinn Zandberg of York, who helped to clean up the river trail.
Connor Stewart of Hagersville helped to clean up a Hagersville trail. —Photos courtesy of Melanie DeBoer, Jarvis Community Christian School.
HAGERSVILLE—Josie, Camden, and Blake VanBenthem of Hagersville cleaned many different areas of Highway 6 and Hagersville as part of an outdoor education garbage pickup challenge at Jarvis Community Christian School.
ONEIDA—Anna Vaarkamp of Oneida Township helped to clean up grabage from the roadside.
HAGERSVILLE—Gavin Stewart of Hagersville cleaned up a Hagersville walking trail.
CALEDONIA—Zachary Schuilthuis of Caledonia cleaned up garbage from trails in Caledonia.
CAYUGA—Mya and Macy DeBoer of Cayuga helped to clean up along the Grand River.
CALEDONIA—Georgia and Charlee Meyer of Caledonia cleaned up parks and the roadside in Caledonia. —Photos courtesy of Melanie DeBoer, JCCS.

By Melanie DeBoer

To The Haldimand Press

JARVIS—Jarvis Community Christian School students recently participated in an outdoor education garbage pickup challenge for school.

This idea came about the first time the schools were remote learning last spring. I posted various remote learning challenges for the students to complete and when finished, their names were put in a draw to win a front porch drop off from me. The prize enticement really gets the kids going and adds a little bit more fun to their learning from home experience.

Most of the challenges focus on community and how we can be a positive influence within it. This past challenge was successful in many ways. The students not only aided in cleaning up their community within Haldimand, but learned so much along the way.

The families from Jarvis Community Christian School that chose to participate in this challenge collectively picked up well over 80 bags of garbage along Haldimand trails, roadsides, fields, and private properties! I thought this number was astonishing!

Some students went out multiple times throughout the week, picking a new spot in their community to clean.

The students were shocked at how much garbage was just being thrown to the side.

They realized and acknowledged that not only was it not nice to look at, but also how this could be devastating to the natural habitats in Haldimand and the creatures living within it. A few mentioned maybe getting garbage cans along the trail outside of York as a potential solution in that area.

Other students were given a rude awakening to just how many beer cans were on the side of the road! One parent said 75% of their roadside garbage was beer cans. Another parent agreed with this observation. Parents said it was a great conversation starter to educate their children about the prevalence and dangers of drinking and driving.

A few students mentioned that they were encouraged and applauded by other people walking along the roads or trails. They felt like their efforts were being seen, acknowledged, and praised. Hopefully this will spur them to do more community service activities in the future!

All in all, this was a great learning experience for the children, all the while keeping Haldimand clean! Their efforts are so amazing, and they don’t go unnoticed.

            Melanie DeBoer is the Physical Education and Health Educator at Jarvis Community Christian School.

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