Andrew Frederick cleans up garbage in Girourd Park while school was out of session this spring. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Youth gives Vernon park a COVID clean

Girourd Park was a mess before Andrew Frederick moved to the area

With schools closed for more than two months, a Vernon teen put his extra time to good use during his COVID-19 down time.

Andrew Frederick, 14, had recently moved to the Harwood area when classes were cancelled after spring break.

He noticed there was a nice playground and greenspace nearby, Girourd Park, but it was littered with garbage.

“It was really dirty, garbage and cups all over the creek. It was gross,” said the Grade 9 W.L. Seaton student, who missed his friends and even gym class.

His stepmother and dad jokingly told him he should clean it up. But to their surprise, he did.

“He’s been doing it everyday now,” stepmother Betty Frederick said. “Everyday he goes out and fills a bag of garbage.”

For almost three months straight, Andrew would head out once a day for a stroll through the neighbourhood park to clean it up.

“At first, I started with a glove and then my grandma gave me this stick to use,” he said of the trash collector.

While there’s still the odd piece of litter at the 20th Street park, it looks a lot nicer than when they moved in.

“Every small little thing can make a big difference,” said Betty.

READ MORE: First week back to class at Vernon schools

READ MORE: Vernon business parked by COVID-19


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