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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Long Island, NY, USA

Cayla_Rosenhagen_Beach_Bucket_Brigade_Group_Shot.jpg
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Long Island, NY, USA

CaylaRose



Registered: January 2022
City/Town/Province: Selden
Posts: 1
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With a passion for protecting wildlife and a dedication to community service, a few years ago, I co-founded the outreach program, Beach Bucket Brigade, with my twin sister. Beach Bucket Brigade is committed to fostering environmental stewardship by promoting a greener tomorrow through education and action.


In addition to my love of the natural world, I have always gravitated towards the role of teaching. This combination led me to take leadership in my community as an environmental stewardship facilitator at a young age. At age 9, my sister Iris and I started creating and distributing fliers around our town encouraging environmentally friendly practices to protect local species. Two years later, this turned into teaching classes at nearby libraries. We taught other children about the importance of pollinators such as Monarch butterflies and honeybees, indicator species such as frogs and toads, and vital native plants. Through slideshows, presentations, and arts and crafts, we imparted our knowledge and zest for nature to other children and their families. This was such an amazing feeling that I will never forget.


In the spring of 2019, Iris and I took an enormous leap forward. We founded Beach Bucket Brigade to facilitate positive social and environmental change on a larger scale. We aim to reduce litter on Long Island’s shores and encourage others to make eco-friendly choices. One facet of our program involves organizing beach clean-ups. We lend our volunteers reusable beach buckets to collect litter in, which is expressed by our motto, “A Bucket to Borrow for a Better Tomorrow.”


We proposed our idea to the local town council to gain their support and influence. They were on board, and Beach Bucket Brigade was propelled forward as we planned our first town-sponsored events.


At our events, participants play games as they go on the hunt for litter, including “Beach Bucket Brigade Litter BINGO,” and learn about the animals they’re protecting. As an incentive, for every beach bucket full of litter they gather, volunteers receive a raffle ticket they can use to win eco-friendly prizes. Throughout that first summer, we held 7 clean-ups, and with the help of over 300 volunteers, we collected approximately 23,500 pieces of litter from 3 local beaches.


That year, we also launched our Facebook page, which has allowed us to reach more people and makes our mission more accessible. On our page, we post original articles and infographics about environmentally conscious choices we all can make, as well as inspirational quotes, our own nature photography, and Earth-loving activities that we have created.


This was also around the time I became more involved in other community service efforts. I began volunteering with NY State Parks and I became a director on the board of my local Audubon chapter. I also began to think ahead academically. Concurrently enrolling myself in three colleges, I embarked on an academic quest to earn my associate degree before I graduate high school.


As a result of Beach Bucket Brigade, I was appointed to my town's Youth Board. It addresses issues regarding the younger generations of Brookhaven Town. The Board has been extremely supportive of my environmental endeavors, and the group was instrumental in getting the Town to adopt one of Beach Bucket Brigade's distance learning programs called "Pollution Preventor's Passport."


Although the pandemic postponed in-person clean-ups for a while, we kept the group active through our Facebook page. For example, during the summer of 2020, we introduced our remote Summer Quest program. Each week for two and a half months, we released a new activity for our followers. Our activities ranged from a rainbow nature scavenger hunt to how to grow your own apple tree to how to become a citizen scientist. Currently, our page has over 500 followers, many of whom are regular volunteers at our events.


In 2021, we resumed our in-person gatherings, always following the most current COVID-19 safety guidelines. Some of our highlights from the past year include multiple children’s events which included nature-themed games, storytimes, nature walks, and of course, beach clean-ups.


Beach Bucket Brigade has been a wonderful success. I experience so much joy out of seeing people, especially youngsters, light up with happiness when they learn something new about the natural world or feel so full of pride when they remove a piece of litter from the beach. It’s such a gift to be able to share the wonders of nature with others and I look forward to continuing to do so long into the future.
· Date: January 15, 2022 · Views: 199 · File size: 25.3kb · : 269 x 180 ·
Hours Volunteered: 1450
Volunteers: 534
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 0 to 80
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 225
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