Campus groups lead effort to help clean up Warner Park


Luis Alcala Roblero

A student participates in the Warner Park clean up sponsored by the Volunteer Center, TRiO and RISE programs at Madison College. The event was held on Friday, April 15.

Stuart Pate, News Editor

On a windy April 15, a volunteer group of Madison College students gathered to clean up Warner Park. Guided by Mercedes Hernandez-Natera, the coordinator of the event in association with the Volunteer Center, the volunteers gathered around and listened to instructions. 

Then, all bundled up for the weather, each volunteer was handed a garbage bag and a mechanical claw affectionately referred to as a “grabber.” Informed and equipped, the volunteers broke off and scattered across the park having to share it with a group of cranes that let out a cry almost to urge on the volunteers.  

One volunteer, Maggie Orberg said, “I like my parks and I feel it’s my duty.” When asked about the weather, Orberg replied earnestly, “It’s a little chilly.”  

This event was conceived by Hernandez-Natera in recognition of the approaching Earth Day.  Having been in contact with the Parks Department she was informed, “They’ve noticed that these bridge months between winter becomes in spring, that’s usually where you get the largest collection of trash buildup.”  

Hernandez-Natera has personally had positive experiences with similar projects in the past. During one event to clean up Vilas Park Zoo, she remembered how peaceful she found just spending time outside. It was also an opportunity to develop new friendships.  

“It was such an amazing experience and the student that I actually met and who graduated and is actually studying in Colorado now for environmental science, we’re still very much in touch,” said Hernandez-Natera.  

After the event, the collected trash was properly disposed of in accordance with Park Department instructions. Volunteers were also treated to trail mix and specially designed bucket hats. 

Volunteer Center advisor Brianna Stapleton -Welch said, “I just hope everyone picks up trash and has a nice time.”  

The event was a collaboration of the Volunteer Center and the TRiO and RISE programs at Madison College. Twenty people participated in the clean-up effort.