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Gordon Options students give Kingston park, trails a hand

KINGSTON — A search for garbage on the trails behind Kingston's Village Green Park did not come up short. The clank of glass and crunch of aluminum cans echoed from the trails as calls of both disgust and excitement filled the wooded area from Bob DeWeese's Options students.

The trash included a countless assortment of cans, glass bottles — whole and broken — fast food containers, food wrappers, and a pile of unrecognizable melted trash. The most exciting items of the day: a Nintendo DS charger, basketball, frisbee and hypodermic needle.

"There were not really any good finds," sixth grade student Kira Rain said. "They were more disgusting."

DeWeese led his fifth/sixth/seventh/eighth grade Options class through the woods for a few hours today as a community service project. The class, part of the Options Middle School Program, is based out of Gordon Elementary.

Options parent Katherine Combs organized the event. Combs walks her dog through Kingston and often sees trash along the trail. Along with other projects, such as cleaning North Beach in April, she said this would be a good community service for the class.

"These kids really enjoy doing this stuff," Combs said.

By coincidence, Amy Anderson, co-owner of The Cup & Muffin in Kingston, had planned on cleaning that area in preparation of the Echelon Gran Fondo. The Gran Fondo is a bicycle ride scheduled for July 23. The ride will start in Kingston and travel up to 100 miles through Kitsap County.

Anderson, a parent of Options student herself, was thrilled at the offer. Because she had planned on recruiting volunteers to clean it, she already had waste bags on-hand, which she donated to the class.

"I was shocked when I stepped back there," Anderson said. "I could pick up about 20 pieces of garbage just standing in one spot."

Anderson said she wants to clean Kingston as much as possible before the Gran Fondo. She and other business owners want the town in the best shape as possible for the event, she said.

Though the students spent about two-and-a-half hours scouring for garbage, Anderson said she will go back through in June to pick up again if needed.

Each student was responsible for different types of garbage; glass and plastic.

Sixth grader Deondre Sluys said he found mostly beer cans. Sluys filled two bags with just cans.

"It's disturbing because of some of the stuff you find," Sluys said.

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