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Tenner partnering with city for trash pickup day

NRHS freshman Teresa Tenner came up with the idea for the New Richmond Community Trash Pickup Day after seeing trash on the side of her newly redone road and wondering why it never gets cleaned up. Jordan Willi / Rivertown Multimedia

If you are looking for a chance to get out of the house Saturday, April 29, and help the community at the same time, look no further than the New Richmond Community Trash Pickup Day. The trash pickup day is the brainchild of New Richmond High School freshman Teresa Tenner and is part of her Genius Hour project for English 9.

"For English class, we had to do something called a genius hour project, which is something that we do that betters the community or someone else's life," Tenner said. "It has to be based on something that inspires us."

Tenner has identified seven locations that need attention: Mary Park, Hatfield Park, North Shore Trail, Freedom Park, the Rail Bridge Trail (behind WITC), the Nature Center, and the Business and Technical Park (specifically the empty lot between Culver's and Maurices). Community members who wish to help pick up garbage on April 29 will find large garbage bags and gloves provided at each location. Following the event, the filled garbage bags will be collected by the City of New Richmond Public Works Department.

"I guess my parents have always stopped to pick up trash that they saw on the side of the road, which was always kind of annoying to me. But when I see what happens when people don't do that it just aesthetically looks bad and causes more people to feel like it is okay to litter there and it just builds up. I just wanted to make our neighborhood look better," Tenner said.

All students in English 9 this semester are taking part in the Genius Hour project, which was set up by English teachers Vanessa Crotteau and Laurie Walsh. Genius Hour projects, according to Tenner, can be anything, including something like writing a book.

"I came up with this idea when we were driving down our street, which had just been redone and there was a low area where people throw out trash and other stuff. I was talking with my mom and was saying that it seems like none of it ever gets cleaned up, so it just keeps piling up," Tenner said. "So I started to think about the fact that there are probably a lot of places like that in New Richmond. That's where I got my inspiration for trash pickup day."

Trash pickup day is a collaboration between Tenner and the City of New Richmond, who gave its full support to the project after hearing a presentation from Tenner. She has been working closely with the city staff to figure out the specifics.

"I got connected with the City of New Richmond when I reached out to them to find out if I needed a permit or something like that to clean up the side of the road and to try and coordinate who was going to pick up all the trash that people would collect," Tenner said. "When they heard about my project they wanted to help with everything they could."

Participants are encouraged to take photos of their volunteer team, as well as before-and-after photos of the seven locations to show the aesthetic improvements that were made. Feedback about the event and photos from the day can be sent to nwiedenfeld@newrichmondwi.gov. Photos and feedback will be used by Tenner in her final project report.

"It is good to get outside and it benefits everyone if you come out to help pick up trash at these locations," Tenner said. "I'll be out there all day no matter what the weather is like, so hopefully that will be something to encourage people to come out and help. And since it is all day, I'm sure there will be part of the day that has nice weather so people can come and help."

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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