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Academy 8th graders clean up section of Clinton River Watershed.

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Academy teacher Michelle Roberts and three 8th graders, center, joined other volunteers yesterday for a Clinton River “cleanup.”

Every Wednesday morning from 10 a.m. until noon, the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) hosts a “cleanup” somewhere along the Clinton River Watershed, which stretches across more than 700 miles in four counties and 72 communities in southeast Michigan.

Yesterday, Michelle Roberts, a math and science teacher of 6th-8th graders at The Grosse Pointe Academy, took three environmentally minded 8th graders to the Harley Ensign DNR Memorial Boat Launch in Harrison Township to help clean up the portion of the Clinton River that empties into Lake St. Clair at that location.

“I found this opportunity when I was doing some research for GPA’s annual Green School recertification,” said Roberts, who has worked with fellow faculty member Sasha Murphy on the Green School initiative for a number of years.

Roberts said that the cleanup was an opportunity she offered to 8th graders as part of their community-service requirements. She said that Academy students Julia Hartnett, Alexandria Belyue and Prosperity Dickerson jumped at the chance, even though it was a day off from school.

And since it was the first time she organized such an effort from GPA, Roberts wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

“I had no idea what we would face, but I told the girls it would most certainly be an adventure,” she said. “We were lucky, as the weather worked out, and we had a beautiful day to be outside. One of the girls actually said afterward that the cleanup could be an annual event, which is a great idea. But I told this group that they will be recorded as the first group ever from GPA to do this.”

As one can imagine, picking up trash along a very public waterway could produce some intriguing, and yes, even some scary finds, but Roberts said it wasn’t too bad yesterday.

“We picked up some interesting items to be sure,” she said. “A sweatshirt, one tennis shoe, but no flip-flips. Also, some dead fish, which will give us something to talk about in class on why there may have been so many of them.”

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Many interesting items were collected along the Clinton River yesterday — including many dead fish.

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About The Grosse Pointe Academy
The Grosse Pointe Academy is an independent, coeducational day school serving children age 2 1/2 through Grade 8. We foster an inclusive environment that respects all cultures and religious beliefs. We seek to remain faithful to our heritage as a former Academy of the Sacred Heart and to those who through their Catholic faith and perseverance sought to preserve and enhance the legacy of this past for generations. Incorporated as a non-profit institution, The Grosse Pointe Academy is directed by a Board of Trustees working together to serve the Southeastern Michigan community.

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