Clean Up Crew Strikes Again. Target: Bible Street Playground

By John Kramer

On Saturday Thomas McKinney partnered with Greenwich Green & Clean on yet another organized cleanup effort – this time in the heart of Cos Cob.

State Rep Hector Arzeno (D-151) with cleanup organizer Thomas McKinney. June 8, 2024 Photo: John Kramer

Volunteers at Bible Street Playground for the cleanup effort organized by Thomas McKinney. June 8, 2024 Photo: John Kramer

Thomas McKinney, Ethan Cooper and Green & Clean’s MacLennan in Bible Street Park. June 8, 2024 Photo: John Kramer

Volunteers were instructed to bring gloves and wear long pants when they headed to the Bible Street playground for the effort.

“I chose Bible Street playground because I wanted to go to a place in a more residential area that could receive different foot traffic than other parks – somewhat like Binney Park,” Thomas explained on Saturday.

“A lot of people ended up walking from their houses to the cleanup, so I think this choice was a good idea,” Thomas added.

Thomas said about 40 people attended the cleanup in total.

Asked what inspired him to start his ongoing cleanup effort, Thomas said he had been passionate about the environment for as long as he could remember.

“I went to my first community cleanup in seventh grade,” he recalled. “And I thought I could do this myself. I did it in eighth grade as part of my Capstone project and it went really well. So I started by doing clean ups every year during my high school. But this year I decided to do it more often to get more people involved.”

One of the cleanup volunteers on Saturday was State Rep Hector Arzeno (D-151).

“I showed up because I am very committed to the work that Greenwich Green & Clean does, but more importantly, to support the work and initiatives from the students o Greenwich High School,” Arzeno said, adding that he had published the cleanup initiative in his weekly Eblast.

Greenwich Green & Clean who provided the buckets and tables, and coordination with the town, have been a steady partner for McKinney.

Back in March they held a campus cleanup at GHS, where students received volunteer hours they could count toward the sophomore year Civics requirement or the 60 cumulative hours required for eligible candidates for National Honor Society.

More recently, Thomas was involved with the Live Like Luke Beach cleanup at Tod’s Point at the end of April.

Also, in April, Thomas was a recipient of one of the Sustainability Awards during the annual ReThink Waste Fair.

The best news? Thomas is a member of the GHS class of 2025 and the community hopes to have him organize cleanups for another year before he graduates.

Sustainability award winner Thomas McKinney with Waste Free Greenwich founder Julie DesChamps at the ReThink Waste Fair. April 6, 2024 Photo: Leslie Yager