By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

More than 100 Whiteaker Middle School students spent Saturday, Oct. 28 at Keizer Rapids Park raking and picking up leaves, ripping down invasive species of blackberry bushes, spreading bark dust and picking up trash.

“We just want to be able to give our kids a lot of opportunities to give back to the community but also so they can feel like they’re part of the community,” Whiteaker social studies teacher James Decker said.

“We’re going to continue these types of activities to empower Whiteaker kids to understand how important it is to give back and the importance of service and second of all, just to help out Keizer because Keizer does so much for all these kids, why can’t they give back to it?”

The idea of giving back started last year with a day of service at Whiteaker.

“This is something that we’re going to continue to do with the city of Keizer pretty much every year now,” Decker said.

Joining the middle schoolers were elementary and high school students as well as parents, members of Boy Scout Troop 19 and others from the community.

“I want to see a thousand people out here. That would be ideal,” Decker said. “Anybody that wants to come.”