More than 500 West Virginia University students will gather on the Mountainlair Green to kick off their 2014 Earth Day Cleanup initiative on April 22. From 4-6 p.m., participants will pick up litter throughout campus and designated areas in the Morgantown community.

“In addition to areas needing attention on campus, student organizers are working with community leaders to identify the areas of critical need in the community,” said Ron Justice, state, corporate & community relations specialist at WVU. “And at this time, College Avenue and Willey Street have been identified as top priorities.”

Event organizers, members of the Student Government Association, Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council, are encouraging other students and community members to join them.

“Civic engagement should be a cornerstone for student life within a college town,” said Evan McIntyre, Interfraternity Council president. “When we all work together, our community can be happy, vibrant and beautiful.”

The WV Solid Waste Management Board and Sunnyside Up, the campus neighborhood revitalization Corp., have donated trash bags. The Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners has donated work gloves, and a dumpster has been donated by Republic Services. In addition, student organizers are working with the Morgantown Police Department for roadside assistance.

“Students are encouraged to attend the cleanup and will be given various incentives,” said Ansh Kumar, SGA board of governor. “Incentives include free pizza, drinks, a pair of ‘Earth Day 2014’ wayfarer sunglasses and free entry to Bent Willey’s Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 25.”

Jenny Selin, mayor of Morgantown, added: “These cleanups are a wonderful way for Student Government, Greek organizations, groups of students and city council members to work together in a tangible way. The conversation is interesting. We get tired together walking the hills and cleaning up – with great results, the neighborhoods look wonderful.”

Student organizers will be attending the Morgantown City Council meeting tomorrow (April 15), where they will extend an invitation to the community to participate in the event.

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CONTACT: Ron Justice, state, corporate and community relations

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