On Saturday, October 4th members of the Environmental Law Caucus from the Gonzaga University School of Law made their way down to the 6th Annual Spokane River Cleanup in High Bridge Park. Some 20 students and volunteers braved the misty and chilly weather to clean up the area around Latah Creek near the confluence with the Spokane River.
The ELC partnered with the Center for Justice this year in order to help people register at the event, as well as leading teams in the field.
ELC President Arthur Debowski (2L) and Vice-President Angela McIntire (2L) acted as team leaders throughout the day, directing the volunteers in their efforts to rid the area along the creek of garbage, invasive vegetation, and abandoned encampments, as well as other items found in the area. They were primarily responsible for the removal of hazardous wastes and maintained the safety and direction of the group.
There was a sizable turnout at the event with at least 500 people coming out for the cleanup despite the less than stellar weather. Mayor Mary Verner kicked off the event with a statement regarding community involvement and environmental stewardship. As in previous years, there was live music, prizes, and “Best Trash” contest for kids.
Once the cleanup was underway the weather began to break and everyone was energized to get the work done. There were teams working along and in the Spokane River and its tributaries throughout the day.
The Environmental Law Caucus plans to continue their presence at the cleanup in the upcoming years. It is a great service opportunity for students as well as a chance to enrich the area for recreation and preservation. ELC volunteers ended up donating approximately 60 hours of labor during the event.