Students pitch in to clean up campus streams as part of Extension & Engagement Week activities

by | Oct 25, 2021

UMSL and MU Extension also held a pop-up health and well-being event for community members at the Regional Center for Education and Work.
Stream Team Clean-up

More than two dozen students, including members of the UMSL baseball and softball teams, participated in the Stream Team Clean-up last Friday, removing trash from on South Campus. (Photos by August Jennewein)

More than two dozen students gathered Friday morning on South Campus at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, prepared to get dirty as they took part in the UMSL Stream Team Clean-up.

The students, including members of the baseball and softball teams, spent nearly two hours gathering trash from the creek bed and surrounding woods near the College of Nursing and the South Campus Garage.

Several of the students even wore rubber boots so they could wade into the water, where they fished out an old tire, a dog crate and enough golf balls – undoubtedly from nearby Glen Echo Country Club – to keep a weekend duffer supplied for a summer.

The students worked deliberately and enthusiastically, filling up at least a dozen bags and leaving the landscape free of garbage.

Students pick up trash in a wooded area on South Campus

Students collect trash in a wooded area south of the College of Nursing on South Campus.

“With COVID, it’s very difficult to do a lot of service projects, but this was a great opportunity to be outside, to do something that is actually serving the UMSL community and the broader community,” said Patricia Zahn, UMSL’s director of community engagement and outreach. “Those students, they blew my mind.”

UMSL Sustainability Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla helped organize the clean-up event, but it was held in conjunction with the University of Missouri System’s third annual Extension & Engagement Week, held Oct. 18-23.

On Friday, UMSL and MU Extension also held a health and well-being pop-up event at the Regional Center for Education and Work on North Campus. They invited area residents to receive mini-wellness and visions screenings, conducted by UMSL nursing and optometry students. And they shared information and gave small presentations about nutrition, gardening and mental health first aid from the Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

A student pedals on a stationary bike connected to blender

An optometry student tests out a stationary bike connected to a blender to make a smoothie during Friday’s pop-up health and well-being event in the Regional Center for Education and Work on North Campus.

There was even a bike-powered blender used to make smoothies with fresh berries, spinach and other ingredients.

“Our focus this year is on health and well-being,” Zahn said. “We thought about what we could do around that and engage our academic departments and some of the work that they’re doing regularly throughout the community.”

Friday evening, the UMSL Recreation and Wellness Center hosted an open house for community members, who enjoyed access to the track, gym equipment and machines, courts, climbing wall and pool. A personal trainer was on site to discuss plans and provide free assessments.

Rachel Winograd, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and MIMH, also was a featured speaker for a two-part systemwide conversation on the opioid crisis and ways UM System institutions and faculty have been involved in research and coming up with solutions to solve it.


Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik