Green-Up, Clean-Up, Wrap-Up

In the late 1980s, RIC students Danny Smith, Tom Precopio and Cheryl Noel, all graduates of the class of 1991, helped organize several campus clean-up days at the college. Smith returned to his alma mater last week to do it again.

Green-Up, Clean-Up Day on Sept. 25 brought about 120 RIC staff and students, including representatives from each residence hall, and area neighbors who volunteered to help clean litter and debris from around campus.

The unseasonably warm late September day was perfect weather for the campus community and neighbors to gather for the cause.

Seventeen teams scoured the campus picking up dozens of bags of trash, leaves and branches, and a slew of cigarette butts that had been scattered throughout the college grounds.

Areas included in the clean-up were the Fruit Hill and Mount Pleasant avenues entrances to the campus, parking lots J and K, the Henry Barnard playground, the quad and walkways around the campus.

Photo gallery

Barry Schiller, professor emeritus of mathematics, and Patti Nolin, special assistant to the president, co-chaired the committee that organized the event.

Kristen Salemi, Student Union director; Alan Salemi, recreation and fitness
coordinator; and their son, Matthew, participate in Green-Up Clean-Up Day.
RIC president Nancy Carriuolo anticipated such an event in her 2009 management letter to the Board of Governors for Higher Education. Campus beautification is one of Carriuolo’s presidential initiatives and has been in effect since she took office in 2008.

“I thought that a clean-up day would involve our neighbors and also be in keeping with our goal…of making the campus more sustainable and attractive,” Carriuolo said.

The clean-up day also falls in line with the work of RIC’s Green Team, headed by Jenifer Giroux, director of RIC’s Outreach Programs, whose mission is to enhance the campus environment.

“My hope is that events like this will also raise awareness about the need for all (who live and work on campus) to assist in making the campus an attractive environment,” Giroux said.

Students from Martha Roberts’ fourth-grade class at the Henry Barnard School (HBS) also pitched in with the effort and are now inventorying and reporting on the components of the litter streams tallied by the teams using a checklist developed by International Coastal CleanUp. Their project is part of a math lesson in which they are learning how to use bar graphs, pie charts and spread sheets, Roberts said.

Schiller, who has participated in previous coastal clean-ups, said that HBS findings may help in determining strategies to help reduce litter in the future.

Several members of the RIC wrestling
team help in the clean-up.

The men’s wrestling team and women’s basketball and lacrosse teams, along with their coaches and athletic director Don Tencher, also collected trash at various locations around campus.

“I was pleased that the day ran so smoothly and everyone seemed in good spirits as they helped beautify the campus,” said Nolin.

Jim Salmo, vice president for college advancement, secured donations of bottled water and cleaning supplies from Stop & Shop supermarket, and work gloves, trash bags and paper goods from Lowe’s. A team of Stop & Shop employees also joined in the clean-up effort.

“We will use feedback we will receive from the participants to make the event bigger and better next year,” said Carriuolo.

The event was sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Development, the college’s Green Team, Student Community Government, Donovan Dining Services, and the HBS Parents Association.