The ditches, shoulders and roadsides along Highway 16 got a much-needed facelift on Thursday, May 6, thanks to the cooperative effort of Bulkley Valley Christian School (BVCS) students and Dawson Road Maintenance. Armed with garbage bags, high-visibility vests, gloves and sunshine, over 100 students from grades 7 through 12 collected hundreds of bags of garbage from the roadsides during the BVCS Litter-a-thon.
The Litter-a-thon serves two purposes. Most importantly, it’s an expression of “creation care.”
“As a Christian community, we feel compelled to express our gratitude for the beauty of the place in which we live,” explained Tom Grasmeyer, development director at BVCS.“The litter-a-thon is one way in which we can express our love for our neighbour and our love for God.”
But the effort has a pragmatic angle as well. It’s a fundraiser for school-based student accounts. Student accounts allow students to participate in school-based activities that carry additional costs, such as travel-based trips, athletic teams and more.
“For many families, it can be a stretch to afford some of these bigger extra costs (particularly in non-COVID years, where travel is more common,” Grasmeyer said. “Student accounts level the playing field by allowing students to contribute to covering their own costs.”
Students seek sponsorships at local businesses and from individuals. No totals are available for this year’s litter-a-thon, yet, but in 2019 students raised about $19,000 collectively.
This year, members of the public continued to contribute when they saw students out on the roadways. Several people stopped beside the road and wrote cheques or contributed cash toward the effort.