Dublin’s Grand Canal Clean Up

Editors Note:  Students attending Champlain College Dublin are strongly encouraged to participate in the Dublin community as much as possible.  Volunteer opportunities are a wonderful way for our students to spend a few hours AND to engage with Dubliners in a new setting.  Below is one student’s description of a morning spent helping at the monthly ‘Grand Canal Clean Up.’ 

The five of us set out from the apartments at 9:20 in the morning, a time at which was perhaps a bit earlier than we were accustomed to starting our Saturdays. Erica, Dan, Ben, Brendan and I were heading to the Grand Canal, a couple minutes’ walk past the academic centre. It was a good day to help clean the canal of garbage as it felt like Spring: sunny, warm, and a prime breeze. Arriving just in time at 10am, the man in charge issued us those metal claws (or go-fers, or trash grabbers, whatever they’re called), plastic gloves, and garbage bags. We then split up to cover both sides of the canal, picking up trash that had washed up on the banks.

Students gathering with other volunteers
Let the cleaning begin!
Hard at work

All of us agreed that it was a very enjoyable experience. It was gratifying to see the tangible results of our work in the four full garbage bags and the canal looking cleaner. It was even fun, a more purposeful version of the carnival arcade game “The Claw”, where instead of picking up a stuffed Chihuahua with our claws we were picking up old bottles and other sweet prizes. The best prize I found was a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Of course, it was waterlogged from sitting at the bottom of the canal for who knows how long, but it was still an amazing find. It was also nice to hear the appreciation from the other volunteers who were impressed that we American students would help them beautify their own city. And to cap it off, by the time we finished at noon, we got free Starbucks coffee. I have to say, it was not a bad day.

Dave Borocz-Johnson

Champlain College Dublin Student

Champlain College Class of 2013

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