Bishop Ireton High School skips class to clean up Alexandria parks

All of Bishop Ireton High School skipped classes today for a good cause.

More than 700 students, teachers and administrators participated in a cleanup of 30 sites in and around Alexandria, including along the city’s waterfront, Holmes Run and Four Mile Run Park.

Sophomore Trevor Pickard spent four hours picking up trash along the Potomac River waterfront. He said he picked up a lot of plastic bottles, tennis balls, diapers, cigarette butts and a lot of disposable vaporizers.

“Obviously not going to school is nice, but it was good to help on our community and beautify these parks for the people in Alexandria,” Pickard said.

B.I.’s Head of School Kathleen McNutt said that the school’s theme this year has been about giving back, and that the cleanup will be repeated next year. The effort meant 25 buses full of students, as well as coordination with parks and churches in the city, Fairfax County and Arlington.

“We wanted to be able to go out into the community as an entire group,” MCNutt said. “We feel like we’ve accomplished that today.”

Senior Zoe Falcone said that the effort was a fun reminder to not litter.

“I think it’s important that everybody start thinking about that, because it’s like a communal area and a shared space,” she said.

Bishop Ireton’s cleanup included:

  • Holmes Run
  • Ben Brenman and Booth Parks
  • The Old Town Waterfront (Windmill Hill Park, Point Lumley, The Marina, Oronoco Park)
  • Fort Ward Park
  • Four Mile Run Park
  • Chinquapin Park
  • Dora Kelly Nature Center
  • Gil McCutcheon Park (Fairfax County)
  • Franconia Recreation Center (Fairfax County)
  • Rising Hope Mission Church
  • St. Martin de Porres Senior Center
  • Sunrise of Springfield (Fairfax County)
  • Good Shepherd Parish (Fairfax County)
  • Community Lodgings
  • Alternative Paths Training School (Fairfax County)
  • Arlington Cemetery Kitchen Gardens (Arlington County)

Incidentally, Alexandria’s Earth Day celebration is this Sunday.