PARKERSBURG - A pair of former students are hoping to give old shoes new life at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
The college is teaming up with Nike for the "Nike Reuse-A-Shoe" program, which recycles old running shoes into athletic surfaces by grinding up the leather, rubber and padding.
The local initiative is part of a class project by recent WVU-P graduates Ashley Buskirk and Kimberly Griffey. The two developed the idea as a class project for their Applied Environmental Psychology course. The project followed a one-week class tour of the state studying environmental issues facing West Virginia.
The college is teaming up with Nike for the “Nike Reuse-A-Shoe” program, which recycles running shoe
"We wanted to make a difference, not only in our community but with the environment as a whole," said Buskirk who recently graduated from WVU-P with a degree in psychology.
Monday's press conference kicked off the shoe drive at WVU-P, with college President Marie Foster Gnage, Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell and members of the Red Wings donating the first shoes. Donation bins will be set up at the college, Stout Memorial United Methodist Church on Broad Street, the YMCA on Broad Street, and Parkersburg Fire Department stations 4 and 5 on Emerson Ave and Blizzard Drive respectively.
Griffey, who graduated with a degree in elementary education and is the coach of the Parkersburg High School Red Wings, said the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program runs through Sept. 15 and they hope to see it become an annual project for the college and community.
Photo by Michael Erb
West Virginia University at Parkersburg graduates Ashley Buskirk, front left, and Kimberly Griffey, front right, and members of the Parkersburg High School Red Wings stand next to donation bins for the “Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program.”
The pair said the only restrictions on donations are no cleats, no dress shoes or flip-flops, and no wet or muddy shoes. The donated shoes can be of any brand.
For more information on the Reuse-A-Shoe program, visit www.nikereuseashoe.com.