Grand Valley Community Service Learning Center to host Beach Clean-Up

Elyse Greenwood

Grab a towel and head out to the Grand Haven State Park on Saturday, Aug. 25 to enjoy the sun while cleaning the beach with other Grand Valley State University student volunteers.

The Grand Valley Community Service Learning Center is holding its second annual Beach Clean-Up. The day will start with check in at 9 a.m. in the Kirkhof Center room 2204 and buses are scheduled to leave at 9:30 a.m. 

Students will participate in community service until noon, doing acts such as picking up straws, cigarette butts and other debris on the beach. After the provided pizza lunch, the remaining two hours are scheduled free time when students can choose to have fun on the beach or walk into town. Buses will leave the park at 2 p.m. to return to campus. 

Partnered with the Alliance for the Great Lakes nonprofit organization, volunteers will be educated on the effects of pollution on the Great Lakes prior to cleaning. Not only is this event informative, it is a great way to serve the community while providing unique opportunities for both incoming freshmen and returning students. 

“We came up with this idea as something to do before classes get rolling,” said Liz Collver, event coordinator and assistant director of the office of Community Service Learning Center. “For first year students who just moved onto campus, it’s a great way to stay engaged through the first weekend after transitions. For upperclassmen, it’s a good opportunity to do something meaningful before we get back to class.” 

Despite the difficulties of marketing events during the summer time, the number of participants has already doubled from last year’s 31 volunteers according to early registration numbers. While last year’s event was a success, the expectations for this year are much higher due to the amount of students. 

“Many hands will make the work light, and it will be very fun,” Collver said. With so many volunteers, she aims to have the entire state park beach cleaned within the two hours of scheduled service. 

Nolan Waters, a current junior at GVSU who attended the Beach Clean-Up last year, echoed Collver’s sentiments of the importance of giving back to the community but also emphasized the fun that follows. 

“It was nice to help clean-up and have citizens and families that live on the beach or visiting the beach come up to you and say, ‘It’s great what you’re doing. Thanks for taking the time to help clean-up.’ The after-party didn’t hurt either,” Waters said. 

As spending time on a beach is weather dependent, Collver urges not to delay signing up for this event. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled. She wants to remind students that this event is not only an opportunity to help the environment, but also an opportunity to have fun with fellow GVSU students.

Registration for the beach clean-up is open until Thursday, Aug. 23 at midnight at While registering is important to ensure a spot, walk-ins will be welcomed as space allows.