The Green Jacks, an environmental involvement club on campus, hosted a successful trail cleanup event at the Sinclair Wash Trail April 17.
Volunteers and club members met in front of the south campus Starbucks to equip themselves with garbage grabbers, gloves, trash bags, neon vests and an eagerness to tidy up one of NAU’s most frequently trampled trails.
Green Jacks co-chair and sophomore Breanna Fimbres elaborated on the event’s background and purpose.
As stated by Fimbres, Green Jacks tries to host a trail cleanup event at least once every semester. The club favors Sinclair Wash Trail due to its location and surplus of roadside refuse.
Fimbres said she is sure that the city of Flagstaff would approve Green Jacks to host trail cleanups located elsewhere, but the club holds NAU close to heart.
“As an NAU club, we really do try to focus on university-centric trails like Sinclair Wash," Fimbres said. "It’s kind of our duty as an environmentally friendly group to keep it clean.”
According to the Flagstaff’s official urban trail website, Sinclair Wash trail is 5.7 miles long. The trail starts at Fort Tuthill County Park and ends at Arizona Trail, near Route 40.
Matthew Muchna, Office of Sustainability manager at NAU and the Green Jacks club adviser, was pleased with the event’s success.
Muchna was surprised that volunteers were able to cover the entire university section of the trail within the two hours they had, especially after recent rainfall partially buried and camouflaged much of the trash collected.
“In two hours we really cleared it out," Muchna said. "It’s great to see students getting environmentally involved on their campus.”
Though Green Jacks as a club hosted the cleanup event, anyone wishing to tidy up this Flagstaff trail was welcome to grab a neon vest and join them.
NAU freshman Blake Bradshaw joined in on the event despite not being a part of the Green Jacks.
Bradshaw was excited about picking up trash on the Sinclair Wash Trail and decided to participate when she received an email notification from the university detailing the event.
“It’s fun to get involved at the university, especially in environmentally driven events like this one,” Bradshaw said. “It just makes you feel good and, at the same time, keeps the trails clean.”
Volunteers and club members covered less than a mile of the trail and totaled around 15 full bags of trash.
Among the collected garbage were sweatshirts, muddied books, styrofoam cups, plastic straws, broken beer bottles, soda cans, plastic bags, paper bags, candy wrappers, undergarments, empty water bottles, fast food containers and more.
To get involved in the next Green Jacks event, more information is included in the club’s Facebook page where members frequently notify followers of upcoming activities. They encourage students, staff, faculty or anyone enthusiastic about Flagstaff’s environmental health to join the club.