A group of students from the University of Illinois Springfield will spend their spring break volunteering to help clean up the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tenn. Students will focus their efforts on removing trash and sorting recyclable materials in order to help the environment.
The 21 students and 2 advisers will leave Springfield on Sunday, March 13 at 7 a.m. and return to campus on Friday, March 18 between 6 and 7 p.m. Students will traverse the Mississippi River both on foot and in boats while working with the nonprofit environmental organization Living Lands & Waters. UIS students will work with other college students from around the county to remove debris (tires, appliances, barrels, etc.) that are polluting the rivers and impairing the habitat of indigenous fish, birds, and wildlife.
“This year, since we are doing an environmental project, I think that it will be rewarding knowing that we are helping to maintain our Earth. Sometimes we tend to focus so much on helping others that we forget about helping ourselves. I think that helping to maintain our environment will help all of us out in the long run," said Monique Johnson, president of the UIS Alternative Spring Break group.
The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed in 2009 when students took their first trip to Mandeville, Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina. In 2010, students traveled to Galveston, Texas to help clean up damage from Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008.
For more information on Alternative Spring Break contact Monique Johnson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center at 217/206-7716.