Westside Middle School Academy

Be A Part Of The Solution Not The Pollution

We are delighted to share a blog written by student Tatum, from Westside Middle School Academy, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2021-22 GSL Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community!

Our experience has been a rewarding and exciting!

Project Summary

So far our project has progressed to the point of advertising our main project and then taking it on to the Danbury News-times. We also finished our fundraiser, earning $138, supplying money to buy materials for the clean-up that will start on Thursday, March 24th at Ball pond in New Fairfield. As well as cleaning up we will be spreading ben’s bells around the pond to spread kindness.

The process we are going through to reach our goals is to make people aware about the pollution in the ball pond. To clean up the ball pond and to make it look cleaner than what it is with no garbage or a trashy look. We are organizing by raising awareness about the pollution and how we are getting kids to tell their parents about the ball pond to come and help clean it up. We organize it by getting snacks and drinks for the people that come to help clean up the pond.

The Journey

We, as Fond of the Pond, have found that fighting for a common goal stands as to support our community in the Greater Danbury area. This is through maintenance of Ball Pond in New Fairfield with a clean-up crew. This will be scheduled from 4 pm to sunset. This can and will be a stable goal throughout because of the strong partnership we’ve developed with Ben’s Bells.

We decided to gather our close peers and volunteers to join us at the listed times to pick up litter. We’ll continue this weekly, with the clean up crew, which will spread a positive environment, especially with younger volunteers. This will be highlighted with snacks being given out.

Once we had found Ball Pond, we found high levels of litter in Ball Pond. A large amount of trash is even visible in Ball Pond today. We then uncovered an oil spill that took place October 28, 2004. This was a 2,500 gallon oil spill due to a 4,000-gallon underground heating oil storage tank under the police department which ruptured due to rust. This damages the food chain and animal life in Ball Pond, as well as possibly contaminating Lake Margerie.

Our project had faced large difficulties early on, mainly being group absences and non-respondent sponsors. Frequently a group member could be out sick during the process early on. But keeping in contact with each other helped organize the project and create chemistry. Then non-respondent sponsors had given a bad impression to us once we were trying to find partners. But this led to our partnership with Ben’s Bells, and a very sustainable and responsible sponsor that could hold our ideas.


The Next Chapter

Our ultimate goal is to clean up Ball Pond to a state where people can have fun when trying to put boats in the water and swim and fish. We are starting by having a clean-up crew but that is just the start. We want to put up signs and Ben’s Bells to have the public clean up after themselves when they are there. Our project will be sustainable by starting an every-year trend where people go out on a day and clean up the pond and the area around it. We can start this by using our social media where we post pictures and videos of our progress towards our goal.