City of Lincoln - Lancaster County
Judith A. Halstead, MS, Health Director
Judging for the second year of the "Cleanest High School Campus" competition, sponsored by Keep Lincoln & Lancaster County Beautiful (KLLCB), began in mid-October. Last spring, Southeast High was declared the winner of this first-of-its-kind competition in Lincoln, receiving a trophy and a congratulatory billboard.
The competition was initiated in the fall of 2010 to test the assertion by Keep America Beautiful (KLLCB's national affiliate) that "high schools parking lots, and areas that surround them, are among the most littered areas of most cities." Competition judges, from various community agencies, toured the campuses of the six large LPS schools three times during the 2010-2011 school year. They were especially impressed with Southeast High, since they had difficulty spotting even one or two small pieces of litter in the parking lots or elsewhere on the campus. This year, the competition has been expanded from to include the four high schools in the county outside Lincoln.
The first round of this year's judging resulted in these average litter scores (scores run from "1-little or no litter" to "4-extremely littered"): East High, .66; Malcolm and Raymond Central, 1; Southeast High, 1.17; Northeast High, 1.25; Norris, 1.3; Waverly, 1.5; Southwest High, 2.17; North Star High, 2.5, and Lincoln High, 2.8. Judges noted that many of the least littered campuses had more trash receptacles in or adjacent to the parking lots.
Additional judging will take place this winter and next spring to determine an overall winner. Student groups wishing to organize a campus/neighborhood cleanup to improve their schools' litter scores are eligible to apply for cleanup mini-grants (Contact KLLCB at 402-441-8035 for information).