Clean Up MHK event kicks off K-State’s Green Week 2018

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Emma Pettay, freshman in biology and member of Students for Environmental Action at K-State, picks trash out of bushes as part of Clean Up MHK on Sunday, April 22, 2018, near Aggieville. (Tiffany Roney | Collegian Media Group)

What’s better way to appreciate the Earth than to clean it up?

Students and community members gathered in Aggieville on Sunday before roaming the sidewalks of campus to pick up trash and recycling to celebrate Earth Day.

Accompanied by Julia “Butterfly” Hill, environmental activist, participants made their way through campus and ended the afternoon at Arrow Coffee Co. to enjoy coffee and conversation.

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Matt Delashmit, junior at Manhattan High School, and Halley Hartenbower, program manager for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, volunteer at Clean Up MHK in Aggieville on Sunday, April 22, 2018. (Tiffany Roney | Collegian Media Group)

The volunteers started at the end of Moro Street, picking up litter before convening at Triangle Park to discuss their route through campus. Volunteers consisted of Kansas State students, families and other community members representing a variety of organizations.

“It’s a nice day to get out and get some exercise and enjoy and do something good at the same time,” Kay Lancaster, project administrative assistant at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, said.

Kristen Jones, senior in civil engineering, said she participated in Clean Up MHK to support Students for Environmental Action. SEA is a student group on campus that advocates for ecological improvement.

“I wanted to be able to give back in some way and do something for Earth Day,” Jones said. “I definitely try to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.”

Jones said by participating in Clean Up MHK and other Green Week activities, she hopes to make people more aware of Earth Day and how they can get involved.

Cheyenne Butler, junior in biological systems engineering and Green Week chair with SEA, said she hopes Clean Up MHK and Green Week continues to grow and develop on campus and with the community in the coming years.

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Halley Hartenbower, program manager for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, and her daughter Maebel pick up litter in Aggieville with other volunteers as part of Clean Up MHK on Sunday, April 22, 2018. (Tiffany Roney | Collegian Media Group)

“We’re trying to clean up Aggieville and our campus,” Butler said. “Just trying to clean up the Earth a little bit at a time as much as we can.”

Casey Cota, member of McCarthy Mortenson (McMJV) — a general contractor partnered with NBAF — also participated. Cota said a big focus of McMJV is getting involved in the communities they work in through outreach programs.

“It makes it so the community sees us as a local organization, not just some out-of-town people that are coming in to do work,” Cota said.

Clean Up MHK was the kickoff event for K-State’s Green Week 2018. For a full list of Green Week activities, visit ksu.edu/greenweek.

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