By CATHERINE PARROTTE
Three members of University of Mary Washington’s Kappa Sigma fraternity partnered with the Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) organization several weeks ago in an attempt to clean up the local wetlands.
The FOR is a local non-profit organization whose goal is to educate the public about the Rappahannock River. They also attempt to help maintain the beauty of the river, along with its water quality.
Peter Walters, Calvin Hensley and David Chambers joined the FOR in an attempt to clean up an area around the Snowden Wetlands in Fredericksburg. In three hours, they were able to fill 13 bags with trash and litter for approximately 1,200 square feet of the area.
Wetlands act as buffers between dry land and water. They help to filter pollution and prevent erosion. Wetlands also support various wildlife, acting as both homes and producers of food for fish, crustaceans and mammals.
“It was to try and give back to the community,” said Walters. “It was especially rewarding to know that previously elementary school teachers didn’t want to take their kids on field trips there because it was so dirty, and so, once we were all done, that was kind of cool knowing that we helped out some kids in the area.”
The Kappa Sigma fraternity requires each member to do 35 hours of community service a semester. Along with community service, the fraternity also participates in philanthropy for the Military Heroes Campaign, which helps wounded veterans. The UMW chapter of Kappa Sigma currently has 49 members.
“Hopefully, not only the kids will benefit, but the wildlife will start coming back to the area as well,” said Chambers.