Date: May 17, 2010
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
GSU Continues to
IL, May 17, 2010 – No one is quite sure how long the automobile engine had been
in the bottom of Thorn Creek, but it isn’t there any longer. Or how long the
bowling shoes, bald tires, and yards and yards of coiled wire have blocked the
water flow. But all that trash and truckloads more were hauled recently from
the banks and bottom of the creek, and deposited where they belong.
The tires were
sent to a tire recycling center to be shredded for ground material. Most
of the metal, such as the engine block and wire coils, were sold as scrap,
and what could not be recycled was taken to the landfill.
Disgusted with the
condition of the stretch of Thorn Creek that runs along Dralle Road in
University Park on the Governors State University campus, members of the GSU
Biology Club volunteered recently to clean it up. Biology professor John Yunger
and Karen D’Arcy, Chair of the Science Division in the College of Arts and
Sciences, helped them. Members of the GSU Facilities Department also assisted
in the clean up by operating a front loader to pull larger objects out of the
creek and dump trucks to haul the garbage away.
“This is a part of
the campus usually only seen by our biology students conducting field work, but
all this trash has an adverse effect on the environment. It clogs the flow of
water and impedes water run-off. This effects local farms as well as the
animals that live in the area and need the water,” explained Yunger.
The fruits of
their labors – the piles of refuse – were displayed on campus for the rest of
the GSU community to see. Onlookers were surprised to see parts of automobiles,
construction debris, and kitchen appliances, as well as mounds of bottles,
cans, and plastic bags.
The Biology Club
hopes to make this clean up an annual event and to encourage other volunteers
to join in their efforts. “It is important that we do this more often. The
people dumping their trash are not thinking of how it effects the environment.
Protecting it should not be a onetime event,” said GSU student Angie Tapley of
The Biology’s Club
activities are part of the university’s efforts to encourage sustainability and
the greening of GSU. To meet this commitment, the university partnered with
Energy Systems Group (ESG) for an energy audit and the implementation of energy
conservation measures. Among the measures ESG and the university have
implemented are the replacement of inefficient boilers, lamps, and light
fixtures with energy efficient equipment.
For the second
year in a row GSU competed in RecycleMania – a nationwide challenge for
colleges and universities to increase awareness of waste reduction and
recycling initiatives. In another demonstration of the university’s commitment
to reducing its carbon footprint, GSU showed it knows how to take out the
trash. Competing in the Waste Minimization category, GSU placed sixteenth out
of 199 schools at the national level and first among the five schools competing