poppy lightfoot, trash clean up
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

In honor of Earth Day on Wednesday, a group of middle schools students in Paonia volunteered to clean up trash along the river. 

Armed with black trash bags and work gloves more than 20 seventh and eighth grade students are searching for rubbish in the woods near Paonia High School.

The area is next to the North Fork of the Gunnison River, a tributary of the Colorado River. And, these middle schoolers are here for a community service project coordinated by the Western Slope Conservation Center, a local nonprofit.

Travis Bubenik/KVNF

We're well into the holiday season now, a time filled with food, lights, and gathering with friends and family. But it's also a time where many people give back to their communities.