Students clean up campus streams for Earth Month

(Photo credit: Alec Moore/Fourth Estate)

The Office of Sustainability’s latest Earth Month event, the Mason Stream Clean-Up, took place last Saturday by Lot C.

Student volunteers, as well as Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management staff, worked together to pick up trash and recyclable material littering the streams around campus.

When students arrived at Lot C, they were handed gloves, trash bags and recycling bags, along with bug spray, sunscreen and bottled water. After breaking into teams, students and staff both worked their way along the stream, ensuring that no litter was left behind during the two-hour event.

Brenda Claudio, project engineer for Facilities Management, made sure each volunteer was well prepared before being sent to different spots along the stream. Claudio was quick to thank students for their participation and to offer them credit for volunteer hours if they needed it.

Ernesto Gomez, a senior civil engineering major and an intern for Facilities Management, explained that cleaning up the streams by Lot C was particularly important since the streams flow directly into Mason Pond, and this is the last spot litter can be removed before it enters the pond.

Gomez said that he has worked on other stream clean-ups at Mason as well as on water quality testing and other environmental projects affecting the university. Gomez explained that his work with the Environmental Health and Safety Office prompted him to participate in a similar stream-cleaning event on September 11 of last year.

Freshman Kristina Herrmann, a forensic science major, said she attended the clean-up as part of her sorority’s community service component. Hermann explained that while she had the option of fulfilling her community service hours in several other ways, she saw this event as a special opportunity to give back.

“Volunteering off campus didn’t really interest me as much,” Herrmann said. “I would rather give back to the Mason community.”

At the end of the event, both Claudio and Civil and Environmental Engineer Manager Jane Xu thanked students for their participation and encouraged them participate in future Earth Month events. Both reminded students how important their volunteering was for helping Mason maintain an environmentally friendly campus.

More information on other Earth Month events going on at Mason, like Bike to Mason Day and President’s Park Hydroponic Greenhouse tours, can be found at