On Saturday morning, a dedicated group of volunteers from Swan Hills School and the local community gathered to begin a busy day of beautifying the highway approaching Swan Hills from the east. With 9 participants, including students, teachers, and parents, the group took on the task of cleaning a 52 km stretch of Highway 33, assigned to the school by Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors (ATEC).

The volunteers met at Subway to get organized, sign in, and collect their supplies. Each participant was assigned to a vehicle with an adult supervisor/driver and provided with a bright orange safety vest and gloves. Additionally, each vehicle received two Highway Cleanup signs to display while working and a supply of garbage bags.

TJ Linger, a teacher at Swan Hills School and the event organizer, had pre-divided the highway into one-kilometre sections marked by wooden stakes with brightly coloured flagging tape. Each group selected a section, removed the tape from the marker to indicate it had been cleaned, and then proceeded to collect trash along the highway. Upon reaching the next marker, they would cross the highway safely and continue cleaning on the other side, returning to their vehicle at the starting point before moving on to the next section and repeating the process.

When a group filled a garbage bag, they tied it off and left it beside the road for pickup. ATEC workers patrolled the area, collecting the filled bags and assisting volunteers as needed.

The day was a success, with 9 volunteers (3 adults and 6 students) contributing a total of 55 hours of work. They cleaned 20 km of highway, earning $2,000 for the school, which translates to $36.36 per hour for the volunteers. The funds raised will support the school’s athletics programs, reducing fees for the student athletes. It was a fantastic community effort to enhance the beauty of our part of Alberta’s Wilderness Playground.

A big thank you to all the Highway Cleanup volunteers and to TJ Linger and Swan Hills School for organizing and hosting this event.

By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 15, 2024 at 15:04

This item reprinted with permission from   Grizzly Gazette   Swan Hills, Alberta

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