Dayton's Bluff Anti-Littering Youths Honored

About 40 youths that spent their summer cleaning Saint Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood were honored recently by the Dayton's Bluff Community Council.  Ranging in age from 9 to 17 years old, the kids hailed from summer programs at the Margaret and Dayton's Bluff recreation centers.

The youngsters took time out of their care-free days of summer to clean up trash and put up anti-littering signs around St. Paul's Dayton's Bluff neighborhood. They spent days cleaning up trash from 20 seven-block areas.

"We have a lot of youth here who really care about the community," project coordinator Erin Sobaski said.

Community organizer and 31-year neighborhood resident Karin DuPaul says that the programs at the recreation centers give youths direction and help them build pride for their neighborhood.

The litter pickup was "a good opportunity to show a different side of themselves," said youth worker Colin Moore, one of two youth workers who supervised the kids each day throughout the summer.  The kids didn't even seem to mind picking up other people's trash.

"They were thrilled to be given a sense of responsibility for their own neighborhood," Moore said.

The litter-cleaning group hopes the effects of the neighborhood cleanup will last. And new connections between teenagers have spawned new teen groups, such as a break-dancing group at the Dayton's Bluff center.  

What a great way to teach younger generations how to take pride in their communities.

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