SANTA CLARITA — It may or may not be their mess, but they'll clean it up anyway.
In response to a challenge by Mayor Jan Heidt, the members of the Canyon High School student government adopted a strip of Whites Canyon Road near their school to do monthly litter pickups.
The decision came after Heidt received a letter from an angry resident complaining about the disheveled state of the street and blaming the mess on students at Canyon and nearby Sierra Vista Junior High.
"This community is a living, breathing thing, and we all have to depend on each other to keep it clean," Heidt said. The mayor said she wanted to encourage the students to take responsibility for the problem instead of relying on the city.
The students plan to have their first litter pickup later this month, walking the length of Whites Canyon Road between the high school and Sierra Vista Junior High. The students also plan to try to get the cooperation of the Sierra Vista student government.
"Regardless of whether students did the littering or not, it's our responsibility to help keep it clean," said Associated Student Body President Dino Lusica.
Others think that a large part of the problem stems from students of the two schools, particularly after Friday night football games.