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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Lake Arcadia, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Arcadia, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA
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Registered: December 2009
City/Town/Province: Edmond
Posts: 1
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Eleven distinct ecological regions, four primary mountain ranges, the world’s tallest hill, more than 500 named creeks and rivers, 200 man made lakes, 50 state parks, six national parks, the highest number of artificial reservoirs in the nation, and home to over 600 different types of animals. The description is riveting, the variety is unique, but the location may surprise you. I have just described one of my favorite places in the entire world; Oklahoma.

I have lived in Oklahoma my entire life and I love everything about it. I especially love just going out in nature with my family and spending some quality time together. We love to go on family bike rides around the lake, or go for an eight hour hike in the Wichita Mountains. Every time my family does something like that, I increase my relationships with them, and I will certainly have many sweet memories of our time together. When I found out about this scholarship, I knew that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the places that have given so much to me. The only hard part about this project, was deciding which area to clean-up, but we finally decided on Lake Arcadia. I have fond memories of many days spent at Lake Arcadia, and most of them have something to do with swimming or sand castle building, of course. Then a couple of years ago, I got together with a group of church friends, and we went down to help pick up trash at the lake. Arcadia has always been well kept, but behind the bushes and on deserted beach areas, there is just more trash than the park offices can handle. My group picked up more than 50 bags of trash and there was still much to be done when we left. When my mother and I were deciding where to clean, I remembered all the work there was still to be done, and our decision was easily made. When we arrived, the offices directed us to a small shoreline area, that was filled with many obstacles of rocks, trees, and roots. Once we got started, there was no shortage of trash and we each grabbed a garbage bag and filled it with the unwanted debris. We found everything from torn flip-flops, to garden pots, to bottles filled with who knows what. It was sad to see this beautiful area strewed with garbage, but it looked much better when we were done. As I described earlier, Oklahoma has a lot of natural landscaping in our state, but many people take this for granted and leave their trash for someone else to pick up. I believe that if everyone took just a little extra time to pick up after themselves, then we wouldn’t have to rely on the government to take care of our natural environment. Taking on this project really made me think more about what I do when I go to a local park or nature area. One person dropping a piece of trash doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if everyone drops one piece of trash, an area can quickly become filled with this unsightly debris. This project has really challenged me to become a more observant part of my community and I hope that I can encourage others along this path as well.
Date: December 25, 2009 Views: 6239 File size: 40.6kb, 1039.8kb : 2500 x 1875
Hours Volunteered: 12
Volunteers: 4
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 7 to 47
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