This Green Up Day, fifth-grader Emily Frazier and a handful of her Berlin Elementary classmates picked up litter from school grounds. This year, Vermont's 43rd statewide spring cleaning, the kids have extra incentive.
"We're trying to raise money to get a new playground for our school," Frazier said.
"The jungle gyms and everything the kids play on needs to be updated. I don't think we've had an update in 30 years on this playground," said parent Jennifer Lawson.
"Really it's not that much fun for us at recess and people aren't getting enough exercise," Frazier said.
Parents are overseeing the effort, but the school principal says these youngsters are doing almost all the leg-work. The precocious kids wrote letters to businesses seeking support. And businesses, like Twin City Subaru, are pitching in while helping residents pitch out. For every pound of trash collected, the car dealership will match the cost of removal with a donation to the kids' cause.
"We're hoping to raise it all. We need to get to $18,000 and we're pretty close to that. We've got a pretty aggressive goal," Lawson said.
The students already picked out two pieces of equipment, and the principal says if the funding materializes quickly, they could be in place before the end of the school year. Between a bottle drive, sponsorships, and turning trash into cash, they should reach that mark soon.