Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita Clean Streams brings community together at Wichita RiverWalk

Kristy Mace
Debbie and Jim Sims pick up trash from the River on Sept. 9 during the Wichita Clean Streams event. The Sims attended the event with their grandson, after seeing an ad through the Wichita Windsurge.

Students and families from the ICT area marched down the RiverWalk, donned with blue gloves, white trash bags and grabber tools, spending a Saturday morning picking up debris along the river.

Wichita Clean Streams is a monthly event where volunteers clean up trash in local bodies of water. The location changes every month depending on the needs of the community. 

Wichita State’s Community Service Board partnered with the Wichita RiverWalk Cleanup Crew to help clean the area around the Arkansas and Little Arkansas River.

Matthew Phan, mechanical engineering sophomore and vice president of membership of the Community Service Board, said that Wichita Clean Streams is one of his favorite events – he’s attended it almost every time they’ve held it. 

“What really draws me in is being able to clean up the river and seeing the progress we made,” Phan said. “I also love having fresh air in the morning.” 

The Community Service Board is largely student-led. Loren Belew, adviser of the Community School Board, praised her students’ independence.

“They facilitate the volunteer events, they plan them, they communicate with their volunteers and they just do a great job,” Belew said. “I think one of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing my student leaders like the volunteer events and plan events and become leaders … among their students and within the community.”

Annie Nguyen and Rachel Edwards, a pair of students volunteering together, acknowledged the accessibility of the event, stating they didn’t need any specialized skills or training, just a few hours out of their day. 

Nguyen, a junior biochemistry major who recently joined the Community Service Board, said it was her first event with the organization. Edwards, a freshman psychology major, said she was there for a class – Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare – and that she needed 15 volunteer hours over the semester.

There were around 20 volunteers, half from WSU and the other half from the community. 

Belew offered advice for students interested in fitting volunteering into their schedule.

“It can just be an hour or two on a Saturday morning or, you know, something that’s important to them, that means something to them and doing what’s best for them,” Belew said.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Taliyah Winn, Reporter
Taliyah Winn is a first-year reporter for the Sunflower. She is a sophomore at WSU double majoring in Political Science and Journalism. In her spare time, Winn relaxes by drawing, weightlifting, and crocheting - usually while listening to music, Youtube videos, or Dungeons and Dragons podcasts. Winn uses she/her pronouns.
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

Comments (0)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *