Wearing bright yellow vests and hard hats, nearly 30 SUNY Sullivan students, faculty, and staff were joined by community members and Town of Fallsburg officials Friday morning to clean up a two-mile stretch of Route 52. Friday’s “Litter Pluck” event is part of the College’s recent “adopt-a-highway” agreement with New York State Department of Transportation. The two-year agreement, which aims to “keep our roads clean, beautiful and enjoyable for everyone,” allows the College to host four “Litter Pluck” events each year to help maintain the two-mile section of Route 52 from the College’s main entrance heading west toward Liberty.
“SUNY Sullivan strives to lead by example when it comes to sustainability and our relationship to our community,” said SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance, who took part in the event. “Our decision to ‘adopt’ a section of highway that fronts the college demonstrates this commitment to our Core Value: ‘Development of civic-minded leadership, accountability, and responsibility in society,’ which informs our recently completed Strategic Plan. It was great to have staff, faculty, students, and community members join us in cleaning up our neighborhood and demonstrating this commitment.”
Over the course of three hours Friday morning, the group of volunteers collected more than 40 large contractor bags of trash and several tires and larger pieces of debris for State DOT to haul away.
“It may be hard to believe, but I had a good time picking up the litter,” said SUNY Sullivan Sustainability Coordinator Larry Reeger. “We worked as one big family to do something that needed to be done. It was great seeing local students, international students, staff, faculty and the president of the college working together to make our community a better place. I am proud to be part of the SUNY Sullivan family.”
“We are so fortunate to have had this opportunity to help beautify our local community,” said Student Government Association and Sustainability Committee member Nichole Connal, who took part in Friday’s litter pluck along with several friends. “This experience has truly opened our eyes to the difference we can make when we work together.”
“It was incredibly satisfying this morning to help clean up the roadside heading toward campus because I drive by every day and it had become such an eyesore,” said SUNY Sullivan Community Garden Coordinator and Sustainability Committee member Kathryn Scullion, “At the same time, it’s a drop in the bucket, and we need to find ways as a community do a better job of preventing our roads from becoming dumping grounds. Our area is too beautiful to let our roadsides and gateways become littered with trash.”
About SUNY Sullivan
SUNY Sullivan is the leader of innovative higher education and a catalyst for workforce development throughout the Sullivan Catskills and beyond. Our diverse community cultivates personal growth and professional advancement, preparing students for success in a sustainable and interconnected world. A forward-looking, top-tier community college in New York, SUNY Sullivan offers over 40 degree programs, certificates, and micro-credentials for learners at all levels of their educational goals. We value critical inquiry and creativity while supporting our students in a culture of inclusion and respect. For more information, visit sunysullivan.edu.