Hockinson families and HSD employees teamed up to beautify the HMS and Community Center campuses at the 4th annual Earth Day Clean Up. Thankfully, the weather cooperated.
What a difference an Earth Day makes. On Saturday, April 22, volunteers worked together to transform the grounds of the Hockinson Middle School and Hockinson Community Center. The results speak for themselves.
The event has a been a spring tradition since 2020, when Superintendent Steve Marshall proposed the idea to People Working Together (PWT). According to Marshall, the PWT didn't hesitate to add one more community service event to their calendar. "They liked elevating Earth Day awareness and agreed that the exterior quality of our facilities didn't accurately represent the high quality of instruction and programs inside our buildings," he said.
This year's Clean Up focused on the HSD's "downtown" campuses. In particular, volunteers tackled the following tasks:
Removing weeds in HMS planter beds and adding landscape rock;
Planting yellow and blue pansies around the HMS turnaround;
Planting perennial plants around the kindness bench;
Landscaping the front of the Hockinson Community Center;
Adding groundcover to the corner of 182nd Ave. and 159th St. as well as the slope of the HMS track; and
Adding rock to the slope in front of the Hockinson Veterans Memorial.
In the spirit of his recent "By the Numbers" letters, Marshall quantified a couple aspects of the service event: In completing these projects, the volunteers planted 30 flowers and 80 plants and laid down over 60 bags of landscaping rock, 35 yards of bark dust, and 15 yards of river rock. As a small reward, they enjoyed a lunch consisting of 30 cheeseburgers, 5 hamburgers, 5 veggie burgers and fries from Burgerville.
The meal hit the spot. "I'm so hungry!" exclaimed Kaden, a 5th grader.
School Board member Teresa Van Natta, Superintendent Steve Marshall, Community Education Coordinator Alex Elerick, and incoming HMS Principal Bess Colpron were joined by over twenty-five student and adult volunteers.
Colpron was impressed with the power of teamwork. "When we first started, I honestly didn't know how much we would be able to complete. I was amazed by how hard everyone worked and with what we were able to accomplish together. I was especially proud of our students for all that they did," said Colpron. She also appreciated the new connections she made with HMS families: "I loved meeting the students I will be working with next year. It was so fun to get to know them and their families."
Marshall invites Hockinson families to next year's Earth Day Clean Up. "A community member pulled up in his car to ask me how people knew about this event. He said he would have liked to help. I told him that we did our best to advertise this year's event, but that he could circle Earth Day 2024 on his calendar. We'll be here," smiled Marshall.