As part of the Liberty Partnerships Future Leaders program at Niagara County Community College, students from Lockport High School and North Park Junior High School will focus their community service efforts on environmental improvements this year.
The high school students kicked off the yearlong project on Oct. 21 with a community clean-up. Liberty Partnerships students identified the overall need, as well as a few key areas that would benefit from their efforts.
In addition to picking up litter, the project has prompted them to spread awareness about recycling and empower others to put garbage in its place.
As part of this project, students researched some notable statistics:
Paper products make up 22% of the liter that is currently in the world
More than 250 million tons of trash is produced each year
An estimated 1.4 billion pounds of litter winds up in the oceans each year
Over 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement and ingestion
New York produces about 14 million tons of trash a week
On average a New Yorker throws away about 25 pounds of trash a week
North Park Junior High School students teamed up with Niagara Region Park Interpretive Program, which identified the need for more bat boxes throughout the region. A guest speaker attended the Liberty afterschool program on Nov. 7 to introduce the students to the benefits of bats, facts surrounding the declining bat population, and what students can do to help.
Many residents do not realize that increasing the bat population will reduce the mosquito population and promote plant pollination. Students will assemble bat boxes of their own to be installed at specific locations in Niagara County.
Future Leaders Liberty Partnerships Program at Niagara County Community College is sponsored by a New York State Department of Education Grant and currently serves over 300 students throughout Western New York. The program supports youth throughout Niagara County with college and career pathway planning. Liberty Partnerships assists students with life and social skills, mentoring, leadership, service learning, community service, wellness, and social/emotional development.
For more information on how a child can be a participant in the Niagara County Community College Future Leaders Liberty Partnerships Program, contact Jamie Reid at [email protected] or 716-614-6891.