September 29th, 2017

Share Everywhere

ATI’s CBDS Mobile Cleans up the Mighty Merrimack

Our innovative CBDS Mobile program has our mobile groups venturing all around the cities and towns we call home. From job tours to museum visits, yoga in the park to local farm visits, we are out and about exploring, learning, and growing.

Our Colleagues and Guests in the program have discovered aspects of their communities they never knew existed, and in some cases, they’ve learned about community needs.

After learning of the trash and filth that pollute the nearby river, one of our groups was moved to volunteer for an ongoing effort to clean up the Merrimack River and the riverbank in the Lawrence area. So, we partnered with the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program for an incredible program that teaches our group more about the mighty Merrimack and allows them to get hands-on with the clean-up effort.

“The water is dirty. The ground along the river looks ugly and filthy,” said Francisco, a group member. “It’s dangerous for the wildlife.” He went on to explain that animals that call the shore home and even the fish and wildlife in the water sometimes ingest the trash, often seriously harming or even killing them.

Between the dangers the trash poses to wildlife and the lack of care or concern for the environment shown by polluters, our group was motivated to get started, picking up the trash, piece by piece.

“We’ve found cups, bottles, paper, straws, cigarettes, clothes, glass, bags, cans, food, and more,” said Francisco.

“People are trashing the environment like they don’t care,” said Danny, another group member.

While the group finds the magnitude of the mess overwhelming and disheartening, they do see a silver lining.

“There is a lot of trash,” said Danny, “but we’re cleaning it up.” He added that he feels good to be contributing to the city, his hometown, in such a meaningful way.

Greg, another group member and citizen of Lawrence, says he hopes their efforts will inspire others to keep the area clean.

Group member Jeffrey said he enjoys the process. “I like doing it because I like helping out our community.”

The group has found the work to be empowering and meaningful, and encourage others to get involved by preventing new trash from piling up and assisting with the clean-up efforts. They hope community members will take pride in their beautiful river and respect the animals and plants that call it home.

“Please don’t throw your trash out here,” said Danny. He added that while it is a shame that they have to clean up after others, if it inspires people to keep the area clean, it’s worth it.

The program has been so successful that many of our other mobile groups have joined in. As they continue the program with the GLCBP, they will take boat rides to learn more about the river, discuss and share the impact of the trash on the wildlife and plant life with others, and continue to clean-up their community.

Check out a few pictures of their efforts so far.

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