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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Keehner Park, West Chester, Ohio, USA

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Keehner Park, West Chester, Ohio, USA
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Registered: December 2019
City/Town/Province: West Chester
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My Keehner Park Cleanup Event
I have always had a huge amount of respect for nature. Nature's ability to provide a home for organisms of all shapes and sizes always fascinated me. I enjoyed observing the intricate relationships between plant and animal, and had no idea that even smaller organisms such as bacteria and protists existed. The more I learned about nature, the more I fell in love with it. As my love for the environment grew, so did my desire to protect it. For a long time I have been meaning to give back to the planet that provides me a home, and this last Saturday I was able to do just that My stewardship project was a clean-up event that I organized at Keehner Park. Volunteers walked around the park to pick up trash and other pollutants in the area. We also sorted, cleaned, and recycled all the able products that we picked up. Most importantly, we took the time to discuss our bad habits as a population and touched on the actions we can do to change them. While we were walking around collecting trash, we had several people come up to us and thank us for keeping the park clean. It felt amazing to keep Keehner Park safer and cleaner for the community. We picked up enough trash to fill four bags and we were able to recycle about 20% of it. As we were sorting through, we noticed that a lot of us had found similar items in our search. There were a lot of plastic water bottles, plastic grocery bags, and cigarette buds. Plastic water bottles are actually recyclable so we cleaned them off and placed them into the recycling bins. However, the grocery bags and cigarette bugs are only disposable in the landfill. So, we then had a discussion on what we could do to lessen our impact. Our group conversed about replacing plastic water bottles with reusable cups and bottles and using fabric grocery bags rather than plastic ones. The cigarettes, on the other hand, are harder to prevent. To combat the littering, Americans need to stop disposing of their cigarettes on roadsides, or better yet just stop smoking in general. The latter however, isn't very likely. I also took the time to mention how a lot of these items, as well as microplastics, often end up in our water systems through runoff. Some of these named items may also end up in the ocean too. In addition, I mentioned that a lot of microplastics and waste articles can end up inside an animal's stomach. I told the volunteers to practice staying aware of the state of their trash, making sure that their garbage bins and their neighbor's garbage bins are secured. I also encouraged them to pick up any trash they see when they are out in public and even tell others about the importance of keeping the streets clean. When the event ended, many of the volunteers thanked me for teaching them about the negative effects may humans cause. The horrible consequences of our actions were something they never thought about. They are now determined to lessen their negative impact on the environment and are planning to take steps toward an environmentalist lifestyle. I was glad to know that a small clean up that I organized was able to do so much for both the environment and other people. It felt amazing to give back to the community and the Earth. I am so proud to have done something so small that can mean so much to the world and I plan to continue organizing similar cleanup events in the future. December 7th was a chilly winter's morning. It was not ideal weather for being outside, and yet still people got together to help me clean up our local park. I was grateful to my friends and family for participating in my stewardship project and I was grateful for the sense of fulfillment and happiness I earned from organizing this event. Planning this cleanup was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I cannot wait to plan another one.
Date: December 16, 2019 Views: 4129 File size: 15.6kb, 4319.7kb : 3456 x 2304
Hours Volunteered: 35
Volunteers: 7
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17
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