Environmental Club Hosts In-person Volunteering at Grant Park

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Senior and Environmental Club leader, Emma Ahmad, spearheaded a socially distant trash clean up at Grant Park through their conservancy on Oct. 3. 

Every student wore a mask and spread out around the park, with grabbers and buckets to collect trash supplied by the Grant Park Conservancy. 

Before this event, Ahmad was unsure of whether the Environmental Club would be able to host an in-person volunteer opportunity with COVID-19. All school-related activities have to be sanctioned by an administrator beforehand, so “it’s really a waiting game to see what we can get approved,” she said. If Ahmad could keep excursions down to ten people at the maximum, with everyone following safety precautions, she felt confident in getting the school’s support. 

Senior Jasmine Barnes-Diaz attended the trash clean up and described how everyone was split up into partners of two to three, with masks on the entire time. 

Some of the trash Senior Jasmine Barnes-Diaz collected at Grant Park.

“The only person you were semi-close to was your partner and with everyone else scattered around the park. I felt really safe outside…I had a lot of fun and would definitely do an activity like this again because I genuinely enjoy volunteering and helping people,” Barnes-Diaz said. 

Environmental Club has also had a few virtual meetings and events before the trash pickup. They discussed sustainability efforts with Emory Professor, Dr. Barlett. 

Ahmad says that the club plans to host monthly speakers to talk to the club about everything from sustainability to reducing carbon footprints. Environmental Club hopes to hold another in-person excursion again soon, especially since, according to Ahmad, the Grant Park Conservancy thought the trash pickup went smoothly.