Annual Triple Bag Challenge encourages environmental stewardship
If there was a chance you could earn $500 for picking up three bags of trash along the road, would you take it?
For Pulaski County High School student Shelby Brown-Hartwell, the answer was yes.
And it paid off. Brown-Hartwell was the grand prize winner of the fall Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority (SPEDA) Triple Bag Challenge, a bi-annual clean-up initiative that encourages local youth to help beautify their community for the opportunity to win one of several prizes.
Participants are asked to collect three bags of trash along any road or waterway in Pulaski County and post before-and-after photos of their cleanup efforts to Facebook and/or Instagram using #spctriplesweep. The contest, now in its fourth year, is open to all elementary through high school students living in Somerset and Pulaski County and happens in both the spring and fall. This season’s contest was Oct. 22-28.
In addition to Brown-Hartwell, other students who participated in the contest received season passes to SomerSplash Waterpark donated by the City of Somerset. Those students include:
- John Brown-Hartwell, Northern Middle School
- Gia Debord, Somerset Christian School
- James Pitman III, Pulaski Elementary
- Bailie Pitman, Oak Hill Elementary
SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler said cleanup efforts like the Triple Bag Challenge are extremely important in fostering a sense of community pride among Somerset and Pulaski County’s next generation.
“Anything we can do to help show the young people of our community the importance of caring for the environment and each other, in addition to promoting personal responsibility, is vital to the future of Somerset and Pulaski County,” Girdler said. “Our young people will carry the torch for us. SPEDA will always seek and provide opportunities to educate our local students about why this place is so special to us today, and why we want it to thrive in the future.”