No Trash Left Behind
October 5, 2018 – Over 40 members of the Murphy Middle School Environmental Club swooped through the field behind Murphy Middle School (MMS) and into the nature trail at the Preserve at Maxwell Creek Park ridding the area of all trash big and small. Club members donned bright orange safety vests, wielded trash grabbers and toted trash bags.
The cleaning event is titled ‘Fall Sweep’. Bailey Ragsdale, City of Murphy Executive Administrative Assistant and President of Keep Murphy Beautiful, said that Fall Sweep is a new cleanup sponsored by Keep Texas Beautiful. This is the second year KTB has held the event and the second year MMS Environmental Club has participated. Ragsdale said, “Keep Murphy Beautiful (KMB) and the Environmental Club participated last year and it went really well and they will continue to participate for as long as the enthusiastic kids of Murphy want to!”
Three students shared their thoughts on being in this club. Caroline Behnke (8th grader) said she joined the club because she wanted to help the environment. Neena Varanasi (8th grade) said, “I joined this club because I thought it would be fun to help the community and meet new friends.” She said since she has been in the club, she has noticed a lot less trash in Murphy. Jon Tran (7th grade) said he joined the club to help the environment and have fun. He said, “I always wanted a way to help the environment and community and this is an easy way to serve.”
The MMS Environmental Club started in 2003, when the school opened. Tina Pilgrim is a teacher at MMS and the sponsor of this very popular club. She said, “We started out as a small group promoting recycling in the classrooms as well as in the cafeteria. Now it has grown to approximately 60 students and we have developed an elevated school garden that’s sustainable, as well as other landscape projects (such as the) butterfly garden.” She added, “I’m very honored to be the sponsor of the club. The students are a wonderful group of young people who are committed to making a difference. I’m very grateful to Michael Murtaugh (MMS teacher) and Mike Hendrix (grandparent volunteer) who have volunteered many hours to help with the club.”
Members of the City of Murphy Keep Murphy Beautiful Green Team, Dawnelle Collings and Robin Shults, met participants at the park gazebo to hand out water and cookies.
Ragsdale is very appreciative of what the MMS Environmental Club does for Murphy, “…the MMS environmental club and Tina Pilgrim have always been such a huge help to KMB for many events throughout the year. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm!”