HUNTERSVILLE – For the fifth consecutive year, Lake Norman Charter School’s student body and staff lived up to their school motto “Learn, lead and serve” by participating in North Carolina’s Big Sweep event.
More than 100 volunteers visited three of the event’s official sites donning gloves and wielding trash bags in an effort to rid local parks and streams of litter and debris. The school bused 21 students to Southside Park, off of Toomey Drive, and another 21 to Gateway, a nature preserve off of Wilkinson Boulevard.
Fifty volunteers visited Latta Plantation, where they cleaned up Mountain Island Lake and its banks. While there, students and staff collected bottles, paper, Styrofoam, plastics, tires, a rusted shopping cart, a bowling ball, a mattress frame and other items.
Second-year volunteer Mollie Wine, a sophomore, said she returned to help with the event this year because she likes the feeling she gets from volunteering.
“I know I did something good and I made a difference in an area that was trashed before,” she said.
Lake Norman Charter science teacher Kyle Pierce, who has organized the school’s involvement with the Big Sweep since 2008, said the event provides students with real-life knowledge about pollution’s harmful effects while allowing them to give back to their communities.
“This event is a really great way for getting young people out into the environment and allowing them to gain firsthand knowledge about the area in which they live,” Pierce said. “The participants get to experience and truly see how our society influences and impacts our environment. Realizing the negative effects of pollution and actually, physically going out to clean up the trash is an awe-inspiring experience which, in the end, will hopefully begin to create good habits of mind that these young people can take with them and apply to their daily lives.”