On Wednesday, April 12th, we arrived at Josie de la Cruz park. We were there for a very important thank you mission: Cleaning the park. We had previously used this park as a starting point for our litter march just a few weeks ago.
As soon as we got there we realized how much this park needed our help. There was trash floating alongside the soccer players, cardboard on the sidewalk, and even in the trees. After the icebreaker, we quickly broke up into groups of two among our team and scattered around different areas of the park.
We collected tons of data using the Marine tracker app. At the end, we discovered that each of our groups collected around 230 pieces of trash on average. (Which brought us to a total number of 1610 pieces of trash) Our favorite part of the day was to look at the park again after the cleaning. It was so satisfying—the grass was no longer covered by bottles and chip bags, nothing was poking out on the middle of the small paths, and the playground looked so much more organized than before!
We also enjoyed interacting with the community. Often times we saw kids curiously looking our way, and adults saying “thank you” when they passed by. We were glad that the community actually noticed what we were doing and took a step to show appreciation, instead of thinking that it’s natural for someone to pick up trash in the community, and that they can just litter anywhere they’d like since someone will pick it up.
Even though we’ve done things that were similar to this before, we are pretty on top of it by now, everything still has a challenge. Things that were challenging for us were to pick up trash that was stuck in the mud, and also picking up/recording too many items at the same time. Some of us also found the trash picker was hard to use, and hurts when used for a long period of time (We have different types of trash pickers).
At the end of our mission, like always, we all have something to take away. One thing that we are going to take away from that day is that even though cleaning up a park sounds small, and seems to be too little to make a difference in this community, it in fact it does make a difference. Everything, including ourselves, are small. We contributed a small drop of water by picking up trash at Josie de la Cruz Park, we influenced others to do the same thing as we did and they too, contributed a drop of water. Many drops of water come together and make puddles, then puddle become ponds, rivers, and even the ocean. By then the changes we made to this community will no longer be small, it’s huge. Even though we started small, there is not just fourteen of us. We are with people from all over the world.
Thanks for reading!
LEADERSHIP I STEWARDSHIP I SERVICE