Wearing professional anti-scratch gloves, over 50 of the new Duke Kunshan University 2015 Global Learning Semester undergraduate students began their park clean up on Saturday morning, March 7th. Even though the students have been to Kunshan for less than 2 weeks, they felt themselves obliged to give back to the neighboring community.
The City Lake Park, located just beside the Duke Kunshan University (DKU) campus, is an excellent place for people to relax on the weekend with friends or family. Here you may commonly find children and their parents grass sledding on the small hill, flying kites, or having picnics together in the open field. Due to some people not carrying away their personal trash the large tracts of open space and slopes in the park have been scattered with garbage, making cleaning only possible by hand. Therefore, the students and some joining DKU staff bent over to pick up the dirty trash regardless of dirt, dampness, and the terrible smell. They also climbed up to the slopes to pick up some debris from fireworks as well as stepping carefully into the mud and weeds to pull out half-buried garbage that has been accumulating for years.
After nearly an hour of cleaning, the students each deposited their collection bags into five giant black garbage bags to haul away to the dumpster. Using a small trailer, the students needed two trips to carry the massive amount of garbage to the dumpsters on the DKU campus. The students all felt a sense of accomplishment looking out over the park landscape knowing the garbage had been properly disposed and a cleaner park space remained for all to enjoy as spring begins in Kunshan.