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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Chester Park, Duluth, Minnesota, USA

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Chester Park, Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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Registered: December 2017
City/Town/Province: Duluth
Posts: 1
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My name is Autumn, I am a senior at Duluth East High School. Throughout the winter, my friend and classmate Amy Ostazeski and I clean up a local park. In the summer and spring, there are community events to maintain the park and its trails, but in the long northern Minnesota winters, there are fewer efforts to maintain trails. Frequent snowfall means consistent care is necessary. Almost 50% of the trash we collect is glass, which is easily hidden under light layers of snow, in a park frequented by dog walkers.

In fact, I was inspired to focus my efforts on cleaning Chester Park because I walk my dogs on the section of the Superior Hiking Trail that winds its way through the park almost every day. Both my friend and I grew up playing, hiking, and sledding in the park, taking for granted that others always ensured our safety by cleaning it up. Now we hope to provide the same safe, clean environment that we were lucky enough to have growing up. Over holiday and winter breaks, many kids in the Chester Park neighborhood whose parents are unable to take time off of work spend their afternoons sledding and exploring in their local park.

Although the amount of garbage we gather varies with the temperatures, we have averaged three bags of trash per week. The position of Chester Park, following a creek of the same name, makes keeping the park clean even more important. Trash that builds up over the winter runs with the snowmelt into the creek, which runs into Lake Superior, one of the world's largest freshwater lakes, as well as the source of drinking water for people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, as well as Ontario, Canada.

Amy and I are lucky enough to have grown up in a city that cares deeply about its water sources and its children, and we hope to keep the tradition alive not only in Chester Park, but in other local parks as well, through ''cocoa and conservation'' winter cleanups. By making trash collecting fun and enjoyable, we can mobilize future generations to take responsibility for their local ecosystems and become stewards of our community. What began as two people picking up garbage in a park could one day impact the 86,000 who call Duluth home, as well as the thousands of others who share Lake Superior.
Date: December 29, 2017 Views: 2013 File size: 13.2kb, 2440.1kb : 2448 x 3264
Hours Volunteered: 2/week
Volunteers: 2
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17-18
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 36
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