Lions using plastic bags to build benches

Trace Harris/The ItemGeanie White, a member of the Huntsville Lions Club adds plastic bags to a collection box at Snap Fitness. 

The Huntsville Lions Club is looking to turn trash into treasure.

The local chapter of the Lions Club International is accepting plastic bags in hopes of turning them into a park bench.

“We’re collecting plastic that the recycling center can’t use to make benches,” said Clayton Bohan, a member of the Huntsville Lions. “We have collected nearly 150 pounds of the 500 pounds of plastic needed to create the benches. The plastic is then sent to Trex Recycling, which turns it into the benches.

“We loved the idea to create a bench for the community, while being able to make a positive impact on the environment.”

The Huntsville Lions Club is a club of 44 men and women, who strive to make a difference in the community. The Huntsville Lions Club is a proud member of the Lions Club International – the world’s largest community service organization with clubs around the world, with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries around the world.

Local members participate in numerous programs throughout the city with the recycled bag program being the first of its kind in Huntsville.

“This is the first time we’re doing this project and we hope it will be a success and an option in the future,” Bohan said.

Founded in 1917, the association’s motto for Lions Club International is “We serve.” The clubs help fundraise for vision and health screenings, building parks, supporting eye hospitals, awarding scholarships, assisting youth and providing help in the time of disaster.

The local chapter was founded in 1950. It provides scholarships for Huntsville High School students, eyeglasses for local needy children, send local campers to Texas Lions Camp, aid local charities and sponsor the local Christmas Parade. Other fundraisers are the Raven’s Revenge Bike Ride and the Huntsville Lions Flag Sponsorship.

“There is so much more we do that many may not be aware of, which is fine, we do our work to help the community, not for recognition,” Bohan added.

Collection boxes for plastic bags are located at Snap Fitness, Curves, Vera Bank, Creekside Retirement Home, Josey Lodge and First Christian Church.