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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Earth Day Madison, WI, USA

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Earth Day Madison, WI, USA
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Registered: September 2017
City/Town/Province: Racine
Posts: 1
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Earth Day 2017 saw rallies, marches and protests across the United States and the world. A March for Science was held on Earth Day in Madison Wisconsin (USA). It is estimated that 4000 to 5000 people attended the March. The March for Science was billed as a world-wide protest aimed at promoting public policy based on science. Being a conservationist and Girl Scout, I knew I had to meaningfully participate in the march.
Having participated in clean up crews for other public events, my initial thought was to gather a few volunteers from my small high school of less than 300 students for the two hour (one way) drive to Madison to clean up after the march. I publicized the project in the school (with administration approval) and marketed the event on various social media sites. Surprisingly, ten students agreed to spend a weekend afternoon in the heat cleaning up trash. The ten people represent almost five percent of my high school students. Many of the ten people I did not know as they were underclassmen.
In order to secure our place as volunteers, I emailed the contact listed on the Madison site web site to inform them of my interest in hosting a team of clean up people. Almost immediately, I was assigned as head of the clean up committee for the entire march. In addition to cleaning up after the March, the duties of our crew included ensuring megaphones were returned after the event, registration tables and other tables along the march route were taken down and that all signs were picked up. During the march, we were tasked with leading cheers and guiding people through the march route. I had never expected my involvement in the march to blossom into supervisory duties but i am so glad and grateful that I was able to have a positive influence on the event.
I had to buy supplies like rubber gloves and trash bags for our clean up crew. In order to pay for these items I held bake sales at the school.
I had to arrange transportation for ten which meant my having my mother drive her van in addition to carrying students in my small car. Even though this was not, technically, a school project, the school did require permission slips. So I had to distribute blank slips and collect signed slips for presentation to school administrators. During the drive to Madison, my mother and I got separated as a result of construction along the route. I had been to Madison numerous times before and was familiar with the route and the construction detour, my mother had never been to Madison so she made a wrong turn. About an hour later, we were able to find each other in the parking area designated for march volunteers.
It was a bit chaotic upon arrival. There really was no person to greet us or to direct us where to go or what to do. At this point, I took it upon myself to find anyone who appeared to be in a leadership role. The person I located was able to assign us the duties during the march mentioned earlier.
The day of the event was long for our crew. We arrived before the march started and stayed long after the march ended. We were lucky that we were able to hear speeches during the event and to lend our support for the cause. The crew brought their own lunches and ate upon arrival (a little early for lunch but time was going to be limited later) and, of course, we cleaned up after ourselves. As a Girl Scout, I grew up on the principle of Leave No Trace when camping. I live by this creed in all that I do. I do not litter, I support recycling and I set a good example for younger Scouts and other individuals. It was this lifestyle that made the march clean up idea a perfect fit.
We did not know what to expect from the march attendees from a Leave No Trace perspective. Large crowds can be messy. To our utter delight, this crowd of almost 5,000 people were extremely respectful of the environment. Clean up was actually not as dirty, tedious or long as I had expected it would be. We finished a few hours before dusk but still had a two hour drive back with ten tired, hungry high school students.
It was decided that we would try to find a fast food place that served salads along the route home. To save time, we went in, ordered, brought it out to the car and had the volunteers eat on the way home. Not optimal but it worked. We arrived back at the school after dark. The students were supposed to have rides waiting for them at the school. Most did, those that did not I drove home.
It was a very rewording day for all of us. The tiredness of the hard, and dirty, work was well off set by knowing that we had participated in an event that would have positive repercussions.
Date: September 27, 2017 Views: 408 File size: 12.2kb, 41.6kb : 595 x 341
Hours Volunteered: 150
Volunteers: 12
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 16 to 18
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 4
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 45
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Registered: October 2017
City/Town/Province: PURI
Posts: 1
October 11, 2017 3:29pm

Nice speech (essay)!