Blue & Gold Goes Green returns

FINDLAY, OH (April 7, 2022) - More than 60 students from Findlay High School’s National Honor Society and other clubs will pick up litter on the campus of their school and surrounding area April 11 as part of their 2nd Annual Blue & Gold Goes Green Earth Day Project.

The litter cleanup is a collaboration between United Way of Hancock County, the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership and Findlay City Schools. About 60 students from the Blue & Gold Chapter of NHS will rally for this year’s cleanup. The students will focus on the woods behind the athletic fields, the athletic fields themselves, parking lots, the lawn surrounding the building, and along Broad Avenue in front of the high school.

As part of their membership, NHS students are responsible each semester for at least 15 service hours and must participate in at least one group service project sponsored by the FHS Chapter of NHS. They often connect with UWHC’s volunteer center, Volunteers United, to find opportunities in the community. The B&GGG event is a Volunteers United effort to provide additional support for the students’ needs.

“Last year, the students had such a great energy and it was amazing how much litter they picked up,” said Angela DeBoskey, CEO for UWHC. “We are thrilled to work with students to help find volunteer opportunities in the community and also to connect for events like this. This is a great partnership we hope to continue well into the future.”

Like last year, the students will use a phone app called Literatti to take pictures of litter gathered and categorize it, allowing organizers to see what is being discarded, how much, and where. Last year between three sites, the students logged 5,776 pieces of litter – 1.27 tons – and not only enjoyed using the app but were competing to pick up the most litter.

Lauren Sandhu, director of the BRWP and Sarah Mayle, UWHC volunteer coordinator, gave a presentation to the NHS on April 1. Mayle explained the United Way and how to take advantage of the Volunteers United. Sandhu described the detrimental effects of litter on the local ecosystem, how plastics make their way into the food chain, and how polluted water flows into and effects the health of Lake Erie. She also explained the app.

"The BRWP is so excited to be a part of this great collaboration for a second year in a row,” Sandhu said. “During this event last year, it was really inspiring to see how concerned the students were about environmental issues, and how they wanted to work to fix them. They realized that they are capable of making a difference in their community, and they can tackle big issues like water quality. It really gives you a sense of hope for the future!"

Administrators and teachers from Findlay City Schools, Sandhu, Mayle, UWHC Community Impact Director Taylor Coote, and UWHC adult volunteers will supervise and direct students throughout the day. Mary Beth Kennedy-Mowrey, NHS advisor and a teacher at FHS, has been working to organize the project and prepare students for the day.

"Blue and Gold Goes Green provides a wonderful opportunity for students from Findlay High School to contribute to our community,” Kennedy-Mowrey said. “Through the cooperative efforts of United Way and Blanchard River Watershed Partnership, our students are able to learn in a hands-on environment while making a difference in Hancock County. This project truly supports the role of service which is one of the pillars of the National Honor Society."

Blue & Gold Goes Green’s organizers are thankful for the crucial support of our sponsors who made the event possible: Chik-Fil-A for what promises to be a highly-anticipated lunch and Bin There Dump That for providing dumpsters and taking care of waste disposal costs.

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