Beaver Pond cleanup

By Amanda CavotoArts & Entertainment Editor

Education, empowerment and advocacy are the foundational tones of the Geography, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Club. Club leaders are creating new ways to help local cleanups become more accessible and relevant to students.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, the GEMS club is hosting a cleanup for Beaver Pond Park, located conveniently close to campus between the intersections of Crescent Street and Fournier Street.

According to official website of New Haven, Conn., this facility consists of a football field and stadium, a track and a regulation baseball field, which are all used by two city high schools. The park also includes lagoons and trails in its nature areas. Biology major and GEMS President Alina Tucker, a senior, said she chose that location intentionally.

One of the issues pertaining to their past cleanup events is the lack of transportation access. They have done cleanups in the past in places such as the area near Long Wharf, but having it right across from campus allowed more members to help out.

“The distance is a problem,” Tucker said, “especially for all these students living on campus. They don’t have rides or anything, so I figured that something so close would be so nice.”

Another benefit to choosing Beaver Pond Park was its relatability to students. Environmental systems and sustainability major and GEMS Treasurer Derek Faulkner, a junior, said the closeness of the park to Southern’s campus makes the event not only more feasible but also more relevant for students.

Faulkner’s goal is to create a big turnout for the event and for people to feel like they are making an impact in their community.

“It’s like a right-inyour-backyard type of thing. Like a little wakeup call; look how much trash is right here, right behind the university,” Faulkner said.

Tucker said she decided to create this event after many of the club’s members expressed interest in doing cleanups around the area.

“It’s something that they feel they can really contribute to the community with,” Tucker said. The participants at this event picked up trash
with garbage bags and gloves throughout the afternoon, and all had a common goal of making the park cleaner.

“We want that place to look nicer than it did when we showed up,” Faulkner said.

While GEMS members said they have done more environmentbased work this semester, they are hoping to expand the outreach of their club with more collaborative exercises through outside organizations and clubs.

“We hope to inspire general awareness about topics about geography and environmental sciences,” said GEMS Vice President Shayla Peterson. She said becoming educated on climate activism today, not tomorrow, is imperative.

“We want to educate people about things they can do now to better their environment,” Peterson said.

Tucker said she planned the event hoping to inspire students both in and out of their club to care about their community and engage with the environment.

“One thing is to empower students to give back to the community,” Tucker said, “and really immerse themselves in environmental culture.”

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