As the summer winds down and temperatures will soon begin to drop, I look back on the whirlwind that was this summer as I gear up for a productive fall season.
A lot has happened with Up to Earth over the past few months. We joined forces with the local nonprofit, Awesometown, and while the change really turned us on our heads, it has been a great catalyst to help us expand our organization from a little group of litter-picker-uppers to a legitimate nonprofit with a full family of support.
Between the organizational shift and the hot and humid weather this summer, we didn’t do as many cleanup events as we did during the spring season, but we had some solid events thanks to the support of numerous volunteers that garnered the attention of many local residents and businesses.
Our Swan Slough cleanups earned us our first Clinton Herald appearance (front page!) and with the effort of just a handful of volunteers we removed countless trash bags, scrap metal, tires, and barrels from the woods.
Although we didn’t get too much trash besides misplaced artificial flowers, we spent our Memorial Day picking up litter from local cemeteries.
Our Eagle Point Park cleanups brought together many new and repeat volunteers who worked together to remove everything from discarded food packaging and a television to over a dozen not-quite-empty tar barrels from the trails and woods of what should be a beautiful park at which to enjoy nature in its purest form.
Over the span of several days, our volunteers filled dozens of trash bags and pulled a depressingly large number of tires and thousands of pounds of scrap metal from the woods along the Great River Trail in Albany.
In Dolan Park (former Albany town dump) we cleaned the wildlife reservation and removed buckets full of broken glass from the park and the riverbanks.
Our Joyce Island cleanup was also a major success, sponsored by Living Lands & Waters and bringing in around 30 volunteers and removing a trailer full of trash from along the bike path, in the rocks, in the woods, and along the riverbanks of the Mississippi River.
With the help of the Bicycle Station and Jensen Oil, the dedicated volunteers who helped to clean up Main Avenue and the Lyons district even worked through the rain and enjoyed lunch thanks to the generosity of Homer’s Deli afterward.
At our first official cleanup under the wings of Awesometown, volunteers braved the scorching heat to clean the streets of Fulton and enjoyed burgers and franks courtesy of the Fulton Meat Market and delicious treats by Diane while Brad Seward of the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency gave a presentation on recycling.
Shortly after, Up to Earth hosted its first fundraising two-day cleanup event for CCASWA thanks to a couple programs made for organizations like us to keep the roadsides on 13th Avenue clean and combat the unintentional littering that inevitably happens on the way to the recycling center.
These are just some of the larger cleanup events we have hosted this summer, but you don’t need an event to make a difference. We strive to always pick up litter when we come across it, even when just on a casual walk through the park or stopped by a train. If everyone did that, the impact would be incredibly powerful, so join our efforts to preserve the planet and be part of the solution!
Follow our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on our upcoming cleanup events, or go out there and make a difference on your own!