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RI Department of Environmental Management
DEM HONORS YOUTH LITTER CORPS CLEAN TEAMS
PROVIDENCE - Over 200 "Clean Team" members from 24 communities and 11 nonprofit organizations gathered today in bright, yellow tee-shirts at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick to be honored for their service to the state. Department of Environmental Management Director Jan Reitsma congratulated the teams and presented a series of awards, including the Outstanding Team of the Year Award to the Jamestown Clean Team.
The Clean Teams form the core of DEM's OSCAR (Ocean State Cleanup and Recycling) Youth Litter and Conservation Corps Program. Workers in the program are teenagers and adults with disabilities who are hired to do roadside cleanups and beautification in their communities with DEM funding.
"You have all made a great contribution to our quality of life," said Reitsma in his congratulatory remarks. "Your work reflects the pride and commitment of young people throughout Rhode Island, who not only care about the quality of their environment, but are willing to do something about it."
The 35 teams had collected 5,800 bags of litter as of August 16. This summer groups of teams worked together during six Collaborative Days, tackling projects too big for a single team. Seven teams cleaned up the Galilee docks in preparation for the annual Blessing of the Fleet; six teams cleaned up Goddard Memorial State Park; six teams cleaned up Ninigret Park in Charlestown after the annual Seafood Festival that attracted nearly 36,000 people; seven teams cleaned up Promenade Street in Providence near the DEM building and the Providence Place Mall; five teams cleaned up in Bristol after the annual Fourth of July parade; and seven teams cleaned up Black Point in Narragansett. During Collaborative Days, teams collected 162 bags of litter.
"These are significant accomplishments," Reitsma said. "In addition, we encouraged our Clean Teams to devote some of their time and effort to litter prevention campaigns and to neighborhood beautification." They also participated in at least one educational day that included visits to the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, Blackstone Valley River Explorer, Easton Beach (U.R.I. Outdoor Classroom), U.R.I. Visitors Center and the Providence River Eco Tour. These days were arranged so they could learn more about the environment and prepare to be tomorrow's environmental leaders.
The Jamestown Clean Team, including Brittany Ford, Gil Medeiros, Stephanie Hryzan, and Tom Morrissey, supervised by Bonnie Jamieson and overseen by Keith Anderson received the Outstanding Team of the Year Award for demonstrating the most enthusiasm, effort and community involvement. Last year the Jamestown team also won the team of the year award. They cleaned areas like Fort Getty, Bulls Point, and Main Street. Their conservation and beautification projects included posting and marking signs on trails, building bird houses for local parks, and planting trees and flowers throughout the island. The team solicited community support and received donations from many local businesses. They even had their own business cards to hand out. They also achieved outstanding news coverage throughout the summer with coverage in the local papers in Newport County and the Providence Journal and their own column in the Jamestown Paper.
Awards were also given for Outstanding Conservation/Beautification Projects to the Clean Teams of the town of Richmond for creating a nature/fitness trail that will be available to the local townspeople, the town of North Smithfield for mapping areas in the community that are prone to breeding mosquitoes and helping to prevent the spread of diseases that some mosquitoes carry, and to Capitol City who built a greenhouse and helped to beautify the garden at the corner of Malbone and Dome Street. These teams designed and implemented beneficial conservation and/or beautification projects within their communities in an effort to improve and enhance our natural environment.
Honorable Mentions were also awarded to the Clean Teams from the towns of North Kingstown, Johnston, the cities of Woonsocket and Central Falls, and to the South Providence Development Corporation and Keep Providence Beautiful for exemplifying the goals of the Youth Litter Corps program, going beyond litter collection to participate in beautification, litter prevention and recycling projects and displaying initiative and enthusiasm.
After the awards ceremony the youths enjoyed games run by radio station 94 HJY and a picnic donated by this year's Youth Litter Corps sponsors: 94 HJY, Ronzio Pizza, Nantucket Nectars, and the Rhode Island Recycling Coalition.
Local Interest: See next page for list of Clean Teams
The 2000 Youth Litter Corps Clean Teams included the following: