San Antonio students travel to Padre Island to participate in beach cleanup

Eric Vue
Students Cleaning Beach

More than 50 students and parents from 4-H programs at Leal Middle School, Harlandale High School and St. John Berchmans Catholic School recently traveled by school bus to Padre Island to participate in the 2018 Big Shell Cleanup at the Padre Island National Seashore. The Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre. The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies and wind flats, and provides a habitat for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and more than 380 bird species. “Students and parents from our Children, Youth and Families At-Risk, or CYFAR, program, including members of St. John Berchmans Knights 4-H club and the Juntos 4-H program at Leal and Harlandale participated” said Dr. Melinda Garcia, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service strategic partnerships and engagement specialist, Bexar County. “Providing life experiences and opportunities for community service are cornerstones of the 4-H program. In this instance, we gave the students the opportunity to learn about the sea and sea life and the opportunity to provide a community service by helping clean up the beach.” Garcia said the cleanup was done in collaboration with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “Our students were met by a park ranger who is also a 4-H alum,” she said. “The students were provided bags and tools for picking up trash, which included netting, bottles, paper items, Styrofoam, discarded shoes and a variety of plastic items.”