Student-Athletes Team to Keep Baton Rouge Clean
BATON ROUGE — In an effort to give back to the local community, over 30 student-athletes from the LSU baseball, softball and gymnastics teams took part in the 2008 Beach Sweep, an annual event held by non-profit organization Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful Saturday morning to clean up the levees and areas along the city’s waterways.
This year’s Beach Sweep took place at two sites along the Mississippi River. Through the coordination of the CHAMPS/Life Skills Community Outreach program, LSU student-athletes came together at the downtown location near the Old State Capital building and the LASM Planetarium and collectively picked up hundreds of pounds of trash and litter in the area.
“We came out here to clean Baton Rouge,” said LSU outfielder Blake Dean. “Obviously, there are a lot of people out here who come to our games and support us, and we just wanted to give back and do our part.”
Senior gymnast Ashleigh Clare-Kearney reiterated Dean’s sentiments.
“Our coach and our team are very interested in giving back to the community because it’s really the only opportunity we have to give back to the people who come to our meets and support us,” said Clare-Kearney. “We want to let Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas know that we aren’t just about gymnastics. We’re about giving back as well.”
Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful puts on events like the Beach Sweep to not only clean up areas of the city but to draw awareness to the state capital’s increasing litter problem. George Strain, KBRB committee chair and an LSU professor in the veterinary school, estimates that East Baton Rouge Parish spends nearly a half million on litter pickup a year.
Brittany Mack, a freshman pitcher on the softball team from Round Rock, Texas, recognizes this issue and doesn’t mind doing her part.
“This is my new home,” said Mack. “I want to keep it clean and help us out.”