What a Difference a Day Makes: Springlike Weather for GHS Campus Cleanup

Saturday’s GHS campus cleanup organized by Thomas McKinney was a washout, but the rain date was ideal.

Sunday was warm and sunny and it felt like the entire town was out and about.

The cleanup was McKinney’s eighth and most of the volunteers who had signed up in advance were able to come on Sunday.

When volunteers arrived they were given buckets to fan out across campus and collect trash.

Kanako MacLennan, director of Greenwich Green & Clean who sponsored the cleanup with GHS junior Thomas McKinney. Students were able to accrue volunteer hours on Sunday. Mach 3, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager

At the campus cleanup were GHS juniors Alexandra Cimador, Reese Clark, Rachel Civitillo and Elizabeth Paulson. March 3, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager

“They can really go anywhere – I just make recommendations,” Thomas said.  “It’s really nice seeing how much everyone can find when they just focus on an area.”

Thomas said the month of March was actually an ideal time to schedule a cleanup since athletes are between seasons and more students were available.

The volunteer hours can count toward the sophomore year Civics requirement or the 60 cumulative hours required for eligible candidates for National Honor Society.

In the past student government had an environmental subcommittee. Now they partner with the Environmental Action Club to facilitate the school cleanup event.

The sponsor for the event was Greenwich Green & Clean who provided the buckets and tables, and coordinated with the town.

“Thomas comes through with the volunteers,” said Kanako MacLennan, director of Greenwich Green & Clean.

Thomas said he first attended a cleanup in 7th grade, and then during Covid he collected trash along the roadway and in parks on his own.

Then for his 8th grade Capstone project at Central Middle School he organized a group cleanup.

The advisor to the GHS student government, Daniel Silkman, a social studies teacher, said, “It’s great they’re taking ownership of their campus.”

Silkman, who teaches 10th grade US History and AP Gov for 11th and 12 graders, added, “It’s their space and this is a wonderful opportunity to beautify the grounds.”

Sorting recyclables from trash collected in buckets by volunteers. March 3, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager

Thomas McKinney with GHS student government advisor Daniel Silkman and Jeremy Buss. March 4, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager

Thomas McKinney, Gabby Munson, Teagan Collins and Jeremy Buss at the GHS cleanup on March 3, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager