Berthoud Youth Advisory Commission to hold inaugural community waste cleanup day

Courtesy photo – Berthoud Youth Advisory Commission members organized a club cleanup around Berthoud High School in August 2017 and want to extend the cleanup to the Berthoud community on Aug. 11. They include Eric Godfrey, left, Genevieve Babyak, Berthoud Trustee Kelly Dunkelberger, Sam Hatton, Juliet Babyak and Ella North.

By Shelley Widhalm

The Surveyor

The Berthoud Youth Advisory Commission wants to extend last year’s club cleanup event at Berthoud High School (BHS) to all of the Berthoud schools and the larger community.

The club joined with Rise Above Colorado to carry out the Berthoud Community Trash Clean-up on Aug. 11.

Berthoud sisters Juliet Babyak, 16, and Genevieve Babyak, 14, are members of both clubs and came up with the idea for the event. The event brings together students and community members who will pick up trash on school grounds and in other areas of the community. The Babyaks are the event hosts, along with their mother, Genia.

“We needed a way to get the community involved in coming together to do a nice community service project,” Genevieve, a 10th grader at BHS said. “It’s just getting people together and benefitting the community, getting people out of their houses doing something that’s easy and helpful.”

Genevieve and Juliet, an 11th grader at BHS, are hoping for a turnout of at least 50 volunteers.

Volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at Turner Middle School, 950 Massachusetts Ave., to get their designated areas for cleanup, which will include schools, streets and public areas. They will receive trash bags and can work as long as they want picking up trash until the end of the event at noon. There also will be refreshments from sponsors and a drawing for swag and T-shirts.

“This is a good opportunity for anyone in Berthoud, specifically teens, to show their love for the community by cleaning it up and keeping it in good condition,” Juliet said. “This is a great way to make a small impact in our town. … I’m hoping this one good thing could lead to another good thing.”

Juliet came up with the idea for the event when she noticed trash on the school grounds at BHS and wanted to do something about it.

“It’s not fun to see,” Juliet said. “It’s always good to clean it up.”

High school students will be able to earn community service hours and can pick up a volunteer slip from the event supervisor after the event.

“It’s nice to have kids out there doing something positive,” Genia said. “We have some awesome teenagers in this town. A lot of them work really hard and want to make a difference.”

Juliet and Genevieve, members of the Rise Above Colorado Teen Action Council, organized the cleanup for their council initiative — the members organize a community project or initiative every quarter. Rise Above Colorado is a drug abuse prevention organization that focuses on educating teens about substance misuse, and the Teen Action Council consists of 30 teenagers from across the state who meet quarterly and engage their peers through social media and community outreach. The Berthoud Youth Advisory Commission, which formed in 2016, consists of seven members ages 13 to 18 who make recommendations to the town’s elected officials on ways to provide more resources and support for local youth.

For the cleanup Genevieve submitted an event application to the Berthoud town clerk. When she received approval she shared the event on social media and enlisted support from the Berthoud Parks and Recreation Department. The department provided suggestions of areas needing the cleanup and agreed to pick up the trash bags following the cleanup.

“It’s nice to have their support,” Genia said. “School starts in three weeks, so it’s nice to have the schools cleaned up.”

For more information about the event, visit the event listing on Facebook or call Genia at 732-674-4239.

 

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