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SUNY Albany Cleans Pine Hills

November 4, 2012

by Becky Wisniewski

The State University at Albany gathered students to travel the short distance from campus into the heart of the Pine Hills neighborhood for the Pine Hills Fall 2012 Cleanup. Some 150 students met at the entrance to Ridgefield Park on Sunday morning to help out.

University student cleans trash off of the street.

Participates used shovels, brooms and rakes to pick up broken glass in the streets and sidewalks. They also had large garbage bags to pick up garbage such as cups, cans, bottles, pizza boxes lying around the neighborhood.

The efforts were focused along the streets where residents live.

The cleanup was organized by the university student association and was designed for University students to come work together to help clean the Pine Hills neighborhood of garbage and glass.

The association hopes this event will show people that they care about the neighborhood. By doing this community service, the  college students may develop a reputation for contributing to their community.

This is the fifth Pine Hills cleanup that the university student association has hosted. In the fall, the event is always held the weekend after Halloween because of the vast amount of trash.

Last semester residents and students from other schools participated in the cleanup, said Kimberly Smith, the director of community engagement and outreach at university Student Association.

“It feels good. It feels even better when you see a lot of people come,” Smith said.

The cleanup was open to anyone who was willing to get their hands dirty.

One student defined the cleanup as a way to get word out to more students to take care of the neighborhood. People take more than they give back, said Rob Forman, the community outreach chairman for the university Student Association.

University students clean up garbage.

The university gets a good image when the students coming to help out, Forman said. This is Forman’s third cleanup.

Another student participated to complete her volunteer credit hours for membership in the Albany State University Black Alliance. It was the first time Naten Kesmen, a human biology major at the university, participated in the cleanup.

“I like helping the community,” Kesmen said. Both Forman and Kesmen plan to participate again in the spring 2013 semester.

Anyone is welcome to join the cleanup next semester. “It has become a tradition now,” Smith said. Residents can become a part of a Pine Hills tradition.-30-



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