Number of Participants: 22
Hours Donated: 4
Value of Time Served: $744
Event Type: Environment
Sport: Boys Ice Hockey
Date: December 5, 2023
Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
Cook Street, Billerica
Mary Leach, a member of the Beautify Billerica Group, contacted Shawsheen Technical High School to request assistance in cleaning up the school’s grounds. The need for this cleanup arose because the school is in close proximity to wetlands and serves as a watercourse for surrounding areas, which have experienced illegal dumping of various materials. As one of the advisors at Shawsheen, I took on the responsibility of coordinating the cleanup efforts.
To organize the event, I arranged a specific date and time with Mary and reached out to other class and club advisors to recruit student volunteers. Initially, I had commitments from approximately 5-7 students from various clubs such as NHS, Orientation Leaders, and SkillsUSA. However, a few students backed out at the last minute.
On the day of the cleanup, which was a Tuesday, I found myself with fewer volunteers than expected. During my math class, I noticed Eric Banda, a sophomore student and a hockey player, who didn’t have hockey practice after school that day due to an early morning practice at 5:30 am. I approached him and asked if he would be willing to help clean up the school’s grounds, and he enthusiastically agreed. I suggested that he might be able to recruit some of his teammates as well, and he readily accepted the challenge.
After my class, I located the two hockey team captains, Chase Darcey and Liam Milne, who were sitting with other teammates during lunch. I asked them if they could join the cleanup effort, and they immediately agreed without any hesitation. A couple of hours later, we met Mary outside after school, and to our surprise, 22 members of the boys’ Varsity Hockey Team showed up to assist with the cleanup.
Upon arriving at the site near the brook, we were confronted with a substantial amount of litter, including an inflatable pool, trash barrels, metal debris, work signs, a trampoline, and numerous discarded tires on the school property. The extent of the litter was shocking to both the students and me. It was disheartening to think that people would dump such materials in this area, and we were unable to remove all the tires, but we hope to return in the spring to continue the cleanup. Some of the players also took the initiative to walk through the trails around the fields to collect trash in other areas of the school property.
I am incredibly grateful for all the students who participated in this cleanup, as it was a challenging task. The students also assisted in loading the collected trash into a dump truck and a pickup truck, which was then transported to dumpsters and other appropriate locations for proper disposal.
I hope that this event serves as a catalyst for the hockey team to engage in more community service activities in the future. We accomplished a significant amount in less than an hour by working together, and it was truly rewarding to give back to both the community and our school. It is evident that these players embody Shawsheen pride, not only on the ice but also in their commitment to community service.
Information provided by Maria Baker – Teacher and Class Advisor at Shawsheen Technical High School
Shawsheen Students Volunteer to Help Beautify Billerica https://www.shawsheentech.org/Page/2298
The following message is from Assistant Principal Kevin Caruso:
On Tuesday, December 5, Shawsheen students representing the Hockey Team and SkillsUSA as well as other non-affiliated Shawsheen students participated in a “grounds clean up” for an hour after school in collaboration with the Beautify Billerica Community group led by Mary Leach. Mary is a strong supporter of Shawsheen and was so appreciative of the help we gave her yesterday in her efforts to help clean up the water areas surrounding Shawsheen. When we finished, she told me that this event made her week, and that this clean-up was something she has been trying to do for a while. It was great to see all the students take the task seriously and do an amazing job with picking up the large trash items that were dumped in the woods behind our parking lot.
A huge shout out to Maria Baker for organizing the event, to Kristen Doucette and Doug Michaud for lending a helping hand, Allison Cammarata for capturing the event for a potential news story, and for the maintenance crew for letting us use their vehicles for a lot of muddy tires. The event went so well we will be planning more fun opportunities like this in the future, so stay tuned for your next opportunity to keep the environment and our grounds clean!