Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week 2: Cleaning Up Our Park

Just look at that park!  Such beauty and grace! Who would possibly want to litter in such a gorgeous setting?  A lot of people, apparently.  Which is why my children and I headed there for this week's Kindness Countdown activity.

In preparation for the 40 random acts of kindness I'll be completing over the coming weeks, I've been keeping a list of good deeds I'd like to complete.  My children asked to have "pick up litter" added to the list, so when I told them it was the activity for the week, they were thrilled.  When I told them it was happening today, they couldn't have been more excited..."Are we going to go pick up trash yet?" they asked every 15 minutes.  Seriously, you would have thought they were speaking in code and "pick up trash" translated to LEGOLAND.

We visit the park pictured here often, and have picked up the large pieces of litter we've spotted over the years, but today we equipped ourselves with plastic gloves, 13-gallon garbage bags and eagle eyes. 

My youngest and I worked together while my older two children teamed up as the litter-picking dynamic duo. Everything in our family is a competition and I learned today that picking up trash is not an exception.  I'm happy to report that it ended in a tie...but sad to report there was enough trash for both teams to fill their large garbage bag.

A highlight of this random act of kindness occurred while we were picking up a particularly dirty section of the park that housed a mound of cigarette butts (Sidenote: I called our Parks Department when we got home to request a garbage can be placed in the area...I was assured it would be there by the end of the week).  A man approached and said, "I hope you don't mind me saying, but I think it's really nice you and your kids are here doing this.  Thank you."  But wait, that wasn't the highlight...

After he passed, my almost 6 year old happily and nonchalantly stated, "Well, if we don't do it, who will?"  I couldn't have been prouder of her cheerful attitude and willingness to positively impact her community.  This week's kindness experience is a true trash to treasure tale! 

"Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can't expect them to help protect and care for it." - David Suzuki

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