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CHAMPAIGN — If you notice less litter in certain parts of Champaign today, you can thank the hard-working kids from New Horizon Methodist.

Members of the church’s service-first student ministry, AXIS, teamed up with young-adult volunteers from New Horizon and Champaign’s Neighborhood Services Department for a beautification blitz in two parts of town that weren’t looking their best.

The kids, ranging from sixth-graders to high school seniors, led the way Thursday at the trails in the North Prospect area and North First Street’s Prosperity Gardens.

The city touted the opportunity as a way for students to learn about litter and “how this issue impacts the livability of our entire community,” as well as tend to a garden that hasn’t been maintained as well as neighbors had hoped since its inception.

The project was meant to serve as a learning experience, said John Ruffin, Champaign’s neighborhood coordinator.

“We all need to be good environmental stewards,” he said.

For the students, it was just the start of their volunteer work. The church’s next “Summer Serve” event is set for July 11.

News-Gazette