In a case beyond keeping their rooms clean, a large group of Burnaby high school students rallied together and decided to take out the trash at a local SkyTrain station.
On Sunday, Royal Oak station had many students filling garbage bags to the brim in an effort to clean up their local streets, according to Diane Gillis, president of the Kingsway Imperial Neighbourhood Association. The students spent about three hours of their day off to keep their neighbourhood clean.
“The energy was just fabulous, the willingness. I think it was an array of ages,” Gillis told the Burnaby NOW. “It was amazing, the enthusiasm. They were just right into it.”
Gillis said the student group had invited her out to participate in the cleanup because her community group organizes one every year.
“I joined them for the cleanup and was so impressed by their enthusiasm and hard work, which really has benefited the community,” she said. “Working alongside this group not only put a polish on the neighbourhood, it also put a shine on our future.”
Unidentifiable broken parts of things, cans and containers were among the trash collected, but there was also some drug paraphernalia picked up, as well, Gillis said.
“There was less (drugs) than in previous years though,” Gillis noted. “I also called the Transit Police and Burnaby RCMP to tell them about the Moscrop group who initiated this tremendous cleanup and if they wanted to stop by, and they both stopped by.”
In a written statement from the student who led the whole cleanup, Aishwi Roshan said it was a coming together from Moscrop Secondary’s environmental club and LEO club, and Burnaby South’s interact volunteer team.
“Collectively, the group of 60 committed and dedicated students filled over 20 bags worth of garbage as they scouted around the Royal Oak SkyTrain station area, including Beresford Street, Royal Oak Avenue, Victory Street and Antrim Avenue,” she said. “The community cleanup was successfully accomplished with the support and expertise of Diane Gillis of the Kingsway Imperial Neighbourhood Association, the support from South Burnaby Neighbourhood House and the Bonsor Recreation Complex.”
As for Gillis, she said the effort and initiative she witnessed on the weekend was inspiring.
“It would be great if the community knew what they’ve done, not just for themselves, but for the whole community,” she added. “This is our future and we’ve got a lot to look forward to.”
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