60°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Dirty Hands, Cleaner Beaches

Dirty Hands, Cleaner Beaches

A group of students spent their sunny Sunday afternoon walking down Malibu Beach and picking up trash in hopes of cleaning up a hot summer spot for local residents and students.

UMass Boston Water Watch student volunteers spent hours teaming up with University of Connecticut students in picking up glass and other garbage along the beach.

“We got a good turnout,” said Stephen Lavery of Water Watch.

The beach, which is in plain view of the UMass campus, sits right off I-93 and collects a considerable amount of trash from passersby. The cleanup was an opportunity for students to keep a bright spot like Malibu beach safe and enjoyable for both the campus community and the Savin Hill community it borders.

The UConn students came down for a beneficial weekend working at homeless shelters in Boston and helping clean up at places like Malibu Beach.

“[This group] focuses on hunger and homelessness,” said Nikita Ladawal, a UConn student helping for the alternate weekend break. “We went down to New Orleans for spring break and helped anyone we could down there for a week.”

The UConn group that traveled down to New Orleans is similar to the team here at UMass who went to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. On Friday April 7th, Lavery and a group of students volunteered their time to play and connect with preschoolers and their families at Escuelita Boriken in south Boston.

“This event gives children a way to celebrate the Week of the Young Child with their families,” said Joanna Bell, a Jumpstart volunteer coordinator and UMass junior.

Jumpstart and Water Watch both attend and host events similar to Friday’s child outreach and Sunday’s cleanup. Water Watch is in its ninth year of community service and is sponsored by AmeriCorps., the Masshachussetts Service Alliance, and MASSPIRG. In 2005, the program received the Take Pride in America Award from the Department of the Interior for its community contributions.

A future effort will focus on the Charles River and cleaning up some of its shoddy banks. On Earth Day, the Water Watch group will walk the riverbanks by the Boston College bridge, picking up any and all trash along the way. Other trips to New Orleans and Philadelphia are in the works and open to anyone with a helping hand.