Wateraid members combined outdoor recreation with caring Saturday at the first river clean up and camping trip.
Maia Holmes, pre-environmental studies junior, pioneered the two-day river detox and camping experience. Students were able to camp for free at Pecan Park Saturday night after collecting trash and recyclables accumulated in the waterway with help from the San Marcos River Foundation.
Holmes said 24 participants helped clean the river, half of whom stayed to camp out. Nine bags of trash and 32 bags of recyclables were collected.
Holmes said she was inspired by a National Geographic article to tackle water issues directly and hoped in turn to inspire other students.
“I think it turned out so well, because everyone was passionate about the cause to begin with, which contributed to the success,” Holmes said.
Holmes said the clean up was not intended for Wateraid members only. Wateraid opened the opportunity to anyone who was interested in water conservation by posting fliers throughout campus to promote interest.
She said students were content with participation overall, and felt accomplished knowing they helped better the environment.
“We’re so lucky to have this at our disposal, to be able to help clean up the river,” said Jessica Legendre, nutrition sophomore. “This is our city, our world, our water and we need to take care of it.”
Legendre decided to work at the Outdoor Center after going on a trip with members. She said this cause was important because of her interest in creating a cleaner atmosphere.
Colin Bromley, pre-environmental studies sophomore, said he participated to become more involved in student activities related to their majors.
“Someone has to clean the river, might as well be me,” Bromley said.
Holmes and Legendre said they plan on working together and having more river clean ups in the future. They said cleanups could be held twice a semester depending on student interest, but don’t want to interfere with other organizations’ activities. They said Wateraid should participate as much as possible.
“We’re just laying the foundation for future trips,” Holmes said.