By Miriam Kashia, North Liberty
One of the ways I manage the isolation and stress of the COVID pandemic is to take long walks. I’m blessed by living in North Liberty adjacent to the Cherry Creek pedestrian trail, so I often walk or bike there, and nearly always find a plastic bag which I put to use by filling it with litter as I walk.
Yesterday I spotted a very large plastic bag, so I retrieved it and began picking up the large amounts of trash scattered along the creek. Then I noticed a couple of young boys hanging out together near the water — a sure attraction for pre-teen males. When they saw what I was doing, they immediately began picking up the trash with me.
We introduced ourselves and proceeded to tackle the awful mess together. Avery, 13, and Larreon, 10, were real troopers, even scrambling through the brush and out over the creek on branches to retrieve all sorts of plastic and other trash from the flowing water. Then another friend of theirs, Ashlea, 12, joined us. We worked together with fun camaraderie and cooperation for over half an hour, filling up my large bag and making several trips to a nearby Dumpster where the kids live. They were really into it, wanting the creek to be as nature intended, not strewn with garbage—responsible young environmentalists, for sure.
So a big “thank you” to Ashlea, Avery and Larreon, my new litter buddies. You kids rock!
This letter was originally published in Little Village issue 293.