Spring cleaning at Riverfront Park

Published 9:59 am Thursday, April 1, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A group of Ring Lardner students lent a hand to the community on Wednesday as they donated their free time to cleaning up Riverfront Park.
Eleven eighth graders spent their afternoon removing glass bottles, tires and other types of litter from the park. The project was done as part of community service requirement at Ring Lardner.
The eighth grade history teachers at Ring Lardner have required each eighth grade student to complete at least three hours of community service to graduate from Ring Lardner.
Jody Purdy, who frequently walks Riverfront Park, noticed there was a lot of litter since the snow had melted and thought cleaning up the park would be a good way for her eighth grade daughter, Casey, to complete her community service.
Purdy, who owns and operates Rose Petal Cleaning Service in Niles, provided the students with the materials they needed to complete the three hour task.
She said the group had gone through almost an entire box of trash bags in the first two hours of work.
The students dropped the trash bags off at two designated spots in the park, where the City of Niles had agreed to pick it up.
The eighth graders were all smiles and seemed to be having a lot of fun as they helped to give the park a facelift.
Eighth grader Casey Purdy hopes their community service project will help to keep the water clean, protect the wildlife and just make the park look a lot nicer.
Charles Rizzio was surprised by the amount of old auto parts they found around the park area.
The group of students all agreed performing a clean up task like this had given them more respect for nature.
And after combing the park with rubber gloves for every bit of trash, a number of the students said they will never litter again.