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College students’ association organizes coulee cleanup

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The Lethbridge College Students’ Association has organized a coulee cleanup as the campus community continues to do its part to help beautify the local landscape. Those interested in participating are invited to meet volunteers at 10 a.m. on April 23 at Fort Whoop-Up.

General arts and sciences students participated in a cleanup last month where they documented each piece of trash collected to gain an understanding into the types of garbage ending up in the coulees. A lot of the trash was disposable masks and paper and plastic products, according to the college. Students said the data collection helped them better understand the problem of litter in the coulees.

Involvement in the  Helen Schuler Nature Centre’s Coulee Cleanup was part of a class assignment for biology students. They were asked to do preliminary work by watching videos and reading prepared materials, supplied by the nature centre and submit a paper on their experience. More than 90 students covered eight different cleanup zones. 

“In this course we have three major assignments and students must choose any two of the three to complete,” said biology instructor Kelly Oikawa. “This was by far the most popular and because it covers a number of course and program outcomes and is good for the city and environment, we’re planning to take part again.”

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Coulee Cleanup began in 2008 as a volunteer conservation project coordinated by the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. It aims to preserve and protect the environment of the Lethbridge river valley by removing garbage and debris from natural areas.

“Participants also noted a sense of accomplishment after their day of volunteering, with many reporting a visible difference in the cleanliness of their assigned coulee zone,” reads a news release from the college. “Others said they enjoyed a day outdoors and were happy to take part in a casual group activity with classmates, especially since COVID restrictions affected several events this year.”

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