A group of over 100 volunteers made up of Texas Tech students, local high school kids and Guadalupe residents were at Aztlan Park Saturday morning to help clean up. They had breakfast at 8 a.m. before spreading out to clean the neighborhood. They were out there until 5 p.m.
"We're trying to cover all the way from Avenue J and the Highway 27 intersection up to the actual lakes area." said Jessica Kissner. Jessica is a graduate student at Texas Tech University and hopes to have a future studying frogs, but at the moment she's just trying to help Lubbock's ecosystem.
"We are just working to clean up Canyon Lakes a little bit. We are focusing on cleaning up trash, clearing some of the brush and trying to make it as nice as possible for the community and for wildlife," Kissner said. "It's really important for people to understand the importance of having a really nice, clean ecosystem that everyone can appreciate for generations to come."
Texas Tech Wildlife Biology major Colton Danforth is worried about water runoff. He said that when it rains all of the oils from cars and animal waste goes directly into the creeks. Danforth says he's trying to help those creeks defend themselves.
"Eco-system is everything. You can't just focus on one specific area of an eco system. every little bit is tied in." he said. "The more people realize how nice a place this is they'll hopefully care about it and keep it that way."
Carlos Quirino Jr. is a member of the Guadalupe Neighborhood Association. He's been spearheading this cleaning effort for the past five years and has seen a noticeable improvement in the area.
"Children started complaining to their parents that they were coming down here to play and they would find syringes and needles and the concrete had rebar sticking out. All of that is gone and we see a diverse population - not only young people - but also older people wanting to come out here and spend the afternoon or even fish," Quirino said.
Carlos says having the help of Texas Tech Natural Science students is a godsend.
"They have the expertise that we here in the neighborhood don't have and they will be able to guide us in things that we can do or not do in the future," he said.