Students from across Colusa County participated in a park clean up in Arbuckle last month.
The clean up effort, which included several local student groups including Friday Night Live, Independent Learning Program, Colusa Youth Advocates for Change, Girls Circle and Boys Council, was the first time the group was able to meet in-person for more than year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release issued by the Colusa County Department of Health and Human Services.
While pandemic-related lockdowns were in place, the group met virtually each week.
“The youth were able to assist the Colusa County Tobacco Education Program with the tobacco litter park survey to see the amount of cigarette butts and other tobacco products they can find in kid-friendly areas, such as a park,” it was stated in the release.
The Arbuckle Parks and Recreation Department had previously passed an ordinance for all parks and recreational areas in Arbuckle to be smoke free, according to the release, and with the help of the students, the Tobacco Education Program was able to collect tobacco products that were not disposed of properly.
“Overall, the group was able to gather 91 tobacco products that were thrown onto the ground,” it was stated in the release. “Improperly disposed of cigarettes can have damaging effects on animals, children, and the environment.”
In addition to gathering the tobacco products, then students helped clean the park by removing any litter that was found in the area.
The Tobacco Education Program plans to continue surveying community spaces for possible impacts of second hand smoke and tobacco litter, especially in kid-friendly areas and the youth group will continue to engage in community activities, such as park surveys, to benefit the Colusa County residents.