Youth Take Active Role in Jackson County Cleanup - - The News for South Mississippi

Youth Take Active Role in Jackson County Cleanup

Some of the coast's youngest residents helped to make their communities a cleaner place to live Saturday. In several Jackson County towns, people walked along streets picking up trash as part of the county's Spring Clean Up.

Seventeen year old Brandon Vaughans is a veteran when it comes to clean ups. For years he and other Boys and Girls Club members have searched for bottles, paper and other trash as part of the Jackson County Pride Spring Clean Up. Vaughans says he doesn't mind picking up trash because he's seen how much his work is appreciated around his Pascagoula neighborhood.

"It's taught me to be thankful for my community and that if nobody else has to do it then I know I want to," said BrandonVaughans. "I don't want somebody else to come and do it for me because it's my community."

Organizers say they targeted schools and youth civic groups when recruiting volunteers for the clean up. Their efforts have paid off because about 75 percent of the volunteers were school-age.

Valerie Kestner, public relations director for the city of Pascagoula, said, "For a community to be what we want it to be in the end, the end result a nice livable place then you have to start with the kids and they understand why it's important to recycle. "

As they cleaned, some of the young volunteers talked about how they feel about the way some people treat the environment.

"It doesn't matter to us because we still gonna pick it up until we get tired," said 10-year old James Wright.

The children also got the chance to paint their own anti litter messages on waste barrels. Organizers say the barrels will be placed in various parks.

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