Arlington kids clean up Terrace Park
August 27, 2008 · Updated 4:25 PM
ARLINGTON For Michael Luque, Beau Hamilton and several other Arlington-area children, cleaning up went from being an individual chore to being a team-building exercise in civic-mindedness Jan. 27, when they got together at Terrace Park to gather up a suburban van full of windstorm debris in garbage bags.
According to Jennifer Luque, Michaels mother, the windstorm that had blown through the citys neighborhoods had also inspired her son to ask if he could get together with his friends and pick up the trash that had been knocked over.
Although Jennifer vetoed that idea, she suggested that Michael and his fellow third-graders could conduct a clean-up of one of the citys parks. From there, Michael recruited his friend Beau to generate fliers, throughout the month of January, to recruit children ages three through eight for the planned Terrace Park clean-up.
While there was ample parental supervision, Jennifer emphasized that the children took charge of the effort, arriving in Terrace Park at 12:30 p.m. and working for at least two hours to pick up as much debris as they could, much of which was transported to a neighbors compost pile.
With the three-year-olds, the parents did kind of have to help them hold their bags, but the older kids were hustling, Jennifer Luque said. They even turned it into a contest, to see who could get the most bags filled first. By the time they were done, we only had the room in the front two seats of the suburban left free.
Jennifer praised all the children who participated, while noting that Michael would be continuing his positive example of leadership throughout his upcoming birthday party, since hes asked the partys guests to make donations to the Pioneer Elementary library, instead of buying him birthday presents.
It was his idea, Jennifer Luque said. The boys are already thinking about doing another clean-up this spring, to kick off the summer. Its so neat that theyre so gung-ho about it.