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Local middle schoolers launch anti-litter campaign



MONROE, La. – Students from Gonzales Middle and Dutchtown Middle schools are planning a stewardship activity at Tee Joe Park in May as part of the Kids to Parks Day Grant contest.

The students plan to install recycle bins, trash cans, and put medallions/paint storm drains that promote pick up trash and discourage littering from 8 a.m. to noon on May 14, said Callie Mudge, a Dutchtown Middle School School virtual student. Any students taking part in 3Donationz and their family are invited to help finish the project from 9 a.m to noon on May 15.

“We launched this campaign after our teacher, Mrs. Perrodin, spoke to the chief engineer for the City of Gonzales, Jackie Baumann, about environmental concerns to fulfill the Kids to Parks Grant Gonzales just received,” Callie said. “She said that the main problem was littering. 3Donationz (the anti-litter campaign) focuses on making the world a better place, so we knew we wanted to help make our parish a better place.”

The Kids to Parks Day Grant Contest is sponsored by the National Park Trust. Gonzales Middle Talented and Gifted student Shelby Johnson assisted in writing the grant thanks to his interests in geology. Students can attend a virtual park experience in Ruby Falls and Rock City or contribute to the local stewardship anti-littering campaign. All proper social distancing and mask wearing will take place to ensure safety.

“We are very appreciative for the grant and are looking forward to working with the City of Gonzales and Mrs. Jackie. We also couldn’t do this without Gonzales Middle Principal Lori Charlet’s support,” said Shelby Johnson, a student at Gonzales Middle.

Students have contributed content for the city to use including memes, a PSA, a series of podcasts, a letter to the city council, and videos. The teachers and students attended the April 26 City Council meeting to discuss the partnership

“Be like Gonzales’ anti-littering mascot, Greenie Gonzales, designed by Emma Baumann,” said Callie. “Please, in honor of Earth Day, throw away or, even better, recycle your trash.”

As of July 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 126,604 people in Ascension Parish with 7% being under the age of 5. If everyone picked up one piece of litter, at least 117,742 pieces of litter would be picked up.

“On behalf of mother earth and all the members of 3Donationz, Dutchtown and Gonzales Middle’s TAG classes’ nonprofit organization, be aware of litter,” said Callie. “Throw away your trash or recycle it in the bins provided. We hope you will do this in honor of Earth Day on April 22 and carry on the traditions for generations to come. We want to help keep our protected wildlife and waterways clean and free from litter.”

“This is Earth — no plan B,” said Dutchtown Middle sixth grader Thomas Murphy. “The cities look so nice and clean when people do their part.”

“Our Earth would be beautiful if we didn’t litter,” agreed Dutchtown Middle sixth grader Lauren Brignac.