Local students raise air quality awareness in the Northside


In a city known for having poor air quality, a group of local high school students are seeking to raise awareness and encourage healthy transportation options at a walk this Saturday. 

A Healthy MOVEment will take place Saturday May 5 starting at 10 a.m.

The walk is more than a track to be followed. Participants will be sent on a scavenger hunt throughout the Northside, hitting local businesses, historic sites and attractions. Each stop will feature information on air quality and alternative transportation. 

The student-run initiative is part of the Student Conservation Association. The national organization features the Leadership in the Environment Advancement Program, which the group that four students running the walk participate in.

Second-year participants in the organization focus on a community action project. Brainstorming for the project began in the fall and led the students to two key decisions: air quality and the Northside.

“They completed community inventories, looking at assets and the needs of the neighborhood,” said Lauren George, the SCA crew member for LEAP. 

“They focused on the Northside because of the need and the strength of local businesses,” she said

The option to raise awareness on air quality was decided over green dining, food systems, recycling and other environment issues.

“It’s something that really impacted their lives and everyone’s lives.”

The ultimate goal will be to see how far collectively participants have walked, and how walking as opposed to driving would impact the quality of air.

Depending on the amount of sites each participant visits, raffle tickets will be given away and prizes that encourage alternate transportation and outdoor activities will be given away. 

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