S.E.A.L Participates in Luxapalila Park Cleanup


Courtesy of Ruth Latham

The Student Environmental Awareness League spends their Saturday morning cleaning up at the Luxapalila Creek Park.

Ada Fulgham, Copy Editor, Staff Writer

Last Saturday, October 13, the Student Environmental Awareness League–or SEAL Club–led an expedition out to clean up a rural Columbus park. Luxapalila Park is located just fifteen minutes outside of Columbus, and, when the team of students arrived at around 8:30AM that morning, was in dire need of a cleanup.

The group of students was led by MSMS’s beloved Biology teacher Dr. Odom, and MSMS AP Chemistry teacher Dr. Morgan, and the cleanup was cooperatively supervised by local Columbus area Ranger Phil.

As soon as the bus of students and teachers arrived on site, they began scouting out garbage and picking up litter in smaller plastic bags to transfer into large black trash bags, which would later be weighed to document the impact of the cleanup on the park. Last year it was estimated that the club gathered seven hundred ninety-five pounds of assorted trash.

MSMS Senior Joshua Seid was the student leader of the cleanup. He is also the club president of SEAL, and is personally invested in the mission of the club, saying that he identifies as an outdoors-oriented person. As well as caring about the environment, Seid said that he “enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, climbing, and the like.” When asked about his thoughts concerning the importance of the club and its purpose in making students activists in the improvement of the environment, Seid said, “I think SEAL is a great opportunity for its members to give back to both the local community and Earth.”

Seid also said that “despite only making a small impact overall, it is definitely an impact nonetheless, an impact that otherwise would not have happened without our club’s commitment. After our efforts, there is now 700 lbs less garbage lying around in Columbus.” Seid also expressed his gratitude for the involvement of the volunteers that were involved, saying that “it makes me glad that others care for the well-being of the Earth as much as I do!” Many of the students who came to the cleanup were in the club, but others were interested in participating simply in response to the mass emails that detailed the cleanup.

The cleanup lasted from roughly around 8:30AM to 11:30AM, and the team gathered over 703 lbs of trash. The assorted items collected included tires, two satellite dishes, wood, an ice chest, and buckets; much of the smaller items were beer bottles and general plastic. These items were mostly run of the mill trash, but while the students were collecting trash they had many very interesting finds in the form of bones. Four skulls of various animals–boar, deer, and canine–were found, as well as vertebrae and larger bones.

All in all, the cleanup was a very successful experience and helped to connect MSMS students to their local environment which they would have otherwise been disconnected with. The extraordinary efforts of many MSMS students in helping to preserve and connect with the local environment and community is a vital part of growing the influence and character of MSMS, and is a reflection of the MSMS ideals of community and service.