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716 Day: Students creating a toxic-free environment

716 Day
Posted at 8:22 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-17 08:12:25-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Western New York celebrates the 716 and all the people who make the City of Good Neighbors a great place to live.

For many, it is a day of giving back.

Students with the Independent Health Foundation Student Peer Advocates took this day of giving to create a healthy environment for the greater Buffalo community.

"Pollution has been a big issue,” high school junior, Emily Lorenz said.

Donning gloves, goggles and a heart for ensuring their community is toxic free, starting with Broderick Park on Niagara Street.

High school sophomore, Jimmy Fleming added, "Today, we are picking up the trash, help cleaning up the park. Trying to spread awareness.”

Buffalo's Independent Health Foundation Student Peer Advocates are ensuring they are becoming good stewards this summer.

Fleming said, We were in the parking lot, there is much. There is so much trash. There were bottles, cigarettes. A lot of stuff, plastic bags. It was kind of disgusting how many people threw it in there."

Fleming, along with Lorenz and about a dozen of their peers are handpicking trash and doing some light gardening on 716 Day— a day known for giving back to the Buffalo community.

"We would like people to stop littering, especially with cigarettes. It's gross. Nobody wants to clean that up, especially because cigarettes are plastic, believe it or not, and they have toxins in them. That's not good for the environment,” Lorenz explained.

Buffalo Niagara director of community engagement, Chris Murawski, said he hopes this day of giving teaches the role nonprofits play in the community, but not just on 716 Day but everyday that follows.

Murawski said, “We wanted to have the students out here kind of learn about what we do to take care of our natural places and also, learn the leaderships skills,” Murawski said.

Anyone who wishes to get involved with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, to continue the stewardship in the community can contact Chris Murawski at More information can also be found on