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There is a river, which runs through Medford, but is unfortunately quite polluted and dirty. It faces the issues of both the invasion of non-native species and a gargantuan amount of trash in and around it. Near the river, there is a hatchshell and a baseball field. When many people throw their trash on the ground there, it eventually ends up in the river. A local organization, Friends of the Mystic River, has semi-annual clean-ups to gather together people from the community to clean-up as much as possible in one day. At the clean-up, members of the MHS Roots & Shoots, walked along various parts of the river picking up garbage and shards of glass. At the end, we even sat down and talked about some of the most interesting things that we found--it's absolutely amazing what people will leave by the river. I realized that there are so many beautiful places in the world and with all of the amazing natural features of Medford from the Mystic River to the Fells woods, our city could be beautiful too if all of us would band together and try to change things. Even though I was not able to pick up everything, what I did realize is that the river is already cleaner than when I was a child and that maybe the goal of the organization that we had partnered with--to make the Mystic River of swim-able quality by 2020 was not necessarily as outlandish as it seemed.
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Every month, our group managed to pull off a successful bake sale at 7:30 in the morning. Members arranged who would donate certain baked goods towards the sale, and then we would make a profit by selling the items.
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The project was initiated by our single club. With the help of Bradford City Recycling, the high school, and many other individuals outside of Roots & Shoots, we were able to get about 80 recycling bins donated to the high school for each classroom. Every Tuesday after the club meetings, a few members for each floor gathered the recycled paper. We gathered about 11 forty gallon garbage bags of paper ever week (that means there were 396 forty gallon bags of paper total). The high school used to throw this paper all away!! Bradford City came and picked up the recycle on a weekly basis.
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The group came together to organize a benefit buffet at our local Pizza Hut for the club. We worked with the manager of Pizza Hut, school officials and the community radio and newspaper to pull together for a very successful fundraiser. Our club was at Pizza Hut for 4 hours taking drink orders, refreshing salad bars, clearing tables, washing dishes, and having fun!
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Every so often, group members went down to the local McKean County SPCA (our animal shelter) to volunteer in walking dogs, giving animals baths, cleaning kennels and boxing ink cartridges for cash.
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Every month, the group got together along with "stream attire", garbage bags and a lot of energy to clean up the littler in the school stream. We had a lot of laughs doing the project and a lot of trips and falls. All and all, we had fun cleaning the stream and gathered a coupe garbage bags full every time.
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Some members from BAHS Roots & Shoots got together to plan and clean up the local Oak Hill Cemetery. The process was a beautiful one, as we got to walk all through the large and open cemetery nestled on a hill above the city. We cleaned up and gathered about 20 bags of garbage.
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Before Christmas, our group got together with the St. Bernard's Church to participate in the Operation Christmas Child, an organization that gives less fortunate children of other countries items for Christmas that they wouldn't otherwise have.
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A member from our group tape recorded a movie in PBS about the life if chimpanzees through TV advertisements, circus acts, NASA tests, medical experiments, etc. The group sat down for an hour to watch the video and afterwards, understood the atrocities that humans have done to chimpanzees.
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Members of Roots & Shoots gathered together along with snacks and drinks to enjoy a one hour documentary about Jane Goodall and her work in Tanzania. The members were educated about their group's founder.

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