History teacher leads environmental effort



Edward Morgan, Staff Writer

For those tired of seeing trash all around town, there’s a brand new club just for you.  The Litter Brigade is a new club for those wishing to help clean up Oxford.  The head of the club, OHS history teacher John Mistilis, is the club’s mastermind.

“The Litter Brigade came from an idea I have had for some time,” Mistilis said.  “It centers around living in Lafayette County and seeing the amount of trash and litter in the city and county. 

“So, several months ago, I started picking up trash on Industrial Road. I usually pick up three garbage bags worth for two hours a day.  I started thinking that this would be a good community service for younger people. 

“We have a large group of environmentally conscious people at Oxford High School.  I wanted to try to provide something for students that just wanted to give back to the community.”

Though the Litter Brigade is a new club, they have already had a pickup at Oxford High School.

“Our first pickup was last Saturday at the school,” Mistilis said. “We picked up nine 40-gallon garbage bags in two-and-a-half hours of work, and we did not touch half of the trash on the OHS campus. 

“We essentially got the west side to the back of the school and a lot of the front.  The trash has never been picked up here, so this is two years of trash. 

“We are having more pickups coming and have a T-Shirt designed.  I am hoping to grow it into an official organization with officers, a budget, and fundraising because I think there are just a lot of active kids.”

Students have started to participate in the Litter Brigade, and some appreciate what the club is doing.

“The Litter Brigade seems like a good club, and what they’re doing is certainly great,” said junior Jacob Sandlin.

Said junior Virginia Parkinson, “I think it is really great for the school, so we can fully clean up this school. It’s great to be able to help the community.”

For those interested in joining the Litter Brigade, feel free to contact Mistilis directly.

“Come and talk to me to join,” said the history teacher. “I have an email list, and I’ve been emailing students times for pickups.

“I’m going to announce the pickups over the intercom, and everyone is welcome to come.  Our next pickup is the second week of March, and the next will be in April.  One will definitely be a Highway 6 pickup and the other would be a Molly Barr Road pickup.”