So far in my action project, I have only completed one nature clean-up with my group. Yesterday Chantal and I completed our first nature clean-up of this half of the semester. Unfortunately, our other group members weren’t able to make it yesterday due to sickness and other extracurriculars, however, we managed to stay on task and make a difference in our community by cleaning a park. We went to Lafarge lake/ town center park and cleaned around the area beginning from where the grass fields and rocky point ice cream is all the way to the entire loop of Lafarge lake for about half an hour. During this time, we were surprised to find that there was more trash than we were expecting. In total, Chantal and I counted 144 pieces of trash picked up, and by the end, we had a large garbage bag full of trash. Overall, our first nature clean-up was a major success and we’re excited to do more this semester. We also hope to clean Town Center Park again, this time in a separate area.
We had many successes in our last nature clean-up. The first is the amount of garbage at the park. Although I’m aware this is more negative than something positive we usually have problems with lack of garbage. We quickly realized that Town Center Park must be used more or not have assigned people to clean it because compared to the other areas we’ve gone to before, it was almost more difficult to find garbage. This was a major success for us because we kept finding many pieces of garbage such as plastic cups, zip ties, confetti, and candy bags. We felt as if in every direction we turned there was always more garbage to be found. After cleaning certain areas we could see the difference just by looking at it which really motivated us to continue. There are times during our cleanups when I feel as if I’m not really helping the community if there’s barely anything to be cleaned up. Yet, this time I could see the difference we were making! Therefore, our biggest successes were the amount of garbage we were able to clean up. This particular nature clean-up has really motivated me a lot, and I’m more excited to continue!
Unfortunately, our biggest challenge still remains the same. We have always struggled with scheduling, whether it’s due to school, work, or clubs, we are all very busy. We each have very different schedules and with a newly added member to our group, we must learn to plan around their schedule too. However, during this nature cleanup everything was planned days in advance and ready to go, but due to reasons out of our control two group members weren’t able to make it. Although this was a frustrating situation we could not control, we will continue to plan in advance. This semester we are really working hard to fix this issue, and we hope to be able to complete more actions by fixing this problem. Once we got to the location, both Chantal and I realized we forgot our gloves to pick up the garbage. Instead, we decided to use sticks to pick up garbage that was either wet or looked too dirty or unsanitary. With our hands, we picked up dry and “cleaner” looking garbage. Once we finished cleaning up we remembered to wash our hands thoroughly and found that using sticks and our hands was a great solution for missing gloves. However, it’s not ideal so we will be sure to remember to bring them for our next nature clean-up.
This semester we don’t have a planned each two weeks nature clean-up. Although we tried really hard to achieve that, due to scheduling it was not possible to achieve. This semester we began with a new thought process to be more relaxed and plan more in advance. For example, we will plan more ahead so we are able to re-arrange our schedules or cancel if anything comes up as well as pick locations before hand and communicate more before completing an action. Next, we hope to continue making an impact in our community for both the people and the animals in our parks to have a cleaner and safer environment to enjoy. We also plan on returning to Town Center Park and cleaning a different area for example near the playground, the track, the basketball courts, the fields, and the parking lots. We’re unsure of our next location at this moment, however, we have planned to do one on Monday again.