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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Ward Lake, Olympia, Washington, USA

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Ward Lake, Olympia, Washington, USA
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Registered: May 2021
City/Town/Province: Shelton
Posts: 1
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It began in summer 2020, as all summers do, with warm weather and dog-walking. Every day I walked one of three routes, and every single time I’d walk past litter. I grew guilting, knowing I was compliant in the ecological damage within my town, knowing that allowing that litter to remain was a conscious choice I made every day. I knew that many of these wrappers and chip bags were ending up in nearby water sources, since I reside right on the Puget Sound. I knew the damage that microplastics were causing to our local salmon populations. Eventually, I grabbed a plastic grocery bag from our cupboard and set out on my usual path, however this time I had a mission. I picked up as much trash as my bag allowed, from cigarette butts to firecrackers, I gathered as much of it as I could. Occasionally, on weekends or breaks I’d bring out trash bags to abandon lots. These abandoned lots were overflowing with garbage, you were unable to take a single step without stepping on broken glass or plastic bags. The most I ever gathered without stopping was 3 trash bags, taking over an hour each to fill.
From that day forward, everytime I went on a walk I’d bring with me a plastic bag and my walk would end when I had filled my bag to the brim with trash from my community. However, I decided to put a fun twist on it, whenever I found a piece of trash I particularly liked I’d put it in my pocket and once I got home I’d place it within a jar. Typically, I’d try to find at least one piece to keep.
Flash forward to 2021, and the jar is fully to the brim and overflowing. I and occasional volunteers from my social circle spent many hours tracing the streets of Olympia, Washington in search of trash. With little implements from countless miles of solo ecological cleanup. I fully intend to continue making my community a cleaner, more plastic-free environment for many years to come. There are few other things that bring me as much fulfillment as knowing that fewer microplastics are winding up in the Pacific Northwest and that I am constantly inspiring those around me to keep Washington State green!
Date: May 26, 2021 Views: 1851 File size: 22.6kb, 845.3kb : 887 x 1651
Hours Volunteered: 65
Volunteers: 4
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 & 14 to 19
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 200
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 49.8
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