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Social Work Students Aid Lake Cleanup

September 29, 2010 1:45 AM
Joseph Halm

More than 50 social work students took on community service projects on Saturday (Sept. 25), including a dozen students who cleaned up the Broadmoor neighborhood to help keep litter from ending up in Lake Pontchartrain.

Social Work Day of Service

A group of students from the Tulane School of Social Work patrol the Broadmoor neighborhood for trash at a Day of Service event on Saturday. (Photo by Joe Halm)

The event was the first Day of Service held by the Tulane School of Social Work.

“This is something that I didn't know before, but cleaning up the streets of New Orleans has a lot to do with water cleanup because the litter that goes into the storm drains goes into the lake,” said social work student Lindsay Hamm. “They really want us to focus on the area between the sidewalk and the street to help reduce that pollution.”

By the end of their three-hour shift, the students filled more than eight heavy-duty trash bags with litter ranging from plastic bottles to paper products to food wrappers to car parts and screws. The group focused on the storm drains located on Napoleon Avenue and Toledano Streets between Claiborne Avenue and Earhart Boulevard. The students' work was part of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation's annual Beach Sweep.

The service day was sponsored by the social work Student Government Association, and organizer Sam King said it was a way for students to bond while giving back to the community.

“As social work students, we're all working to improve the community,” King said. “The fourth-semester students are currently working in the community, and a lot of the first-semester students aren't from here and are just getting acclimated to the city, so this is a great opportunity for new students to get to know New Orleans.”

Students also worked with Save Our Cemeteries to pick up more than 40 bags of trash at Lafayette Cemetery No. 2 in Central City as well as with the NO/AIDS Task Force, where they assembled HIV and sexual health awareness kits to be distributed to New Orleans' high-risk and at-risk populations.

Joseph Halm is marketing/communications coordinator for the Tulane School of Social Work.