North Aurora Island Park Clean Up
No better way to say ‘Happy Earth Day’ than by taking care of the earth with family and friends! And that’s exactly what we did on Saturday, April 21st in North Aurora. Park Clean Ups are easy ways to get the community together, no specific skills are required and we can all enjoy some fresh air in a public space that we all care for!
With some prior research I discovered that the Fox Valley Park District had scheduled their annual large scale Park Clean Up and were looking for volunteers. They were scheduled to attend to six major parks in the area and I was more than excited to call the volunteer coordinator and express my interest. She immediately signaled out North Aurora Island Park as a large area that needed additional help and I was more than happy to spread the word.
A quick call to the Director at Messenger Library proved invaluable as he highlighted several places to put fliers and several groups to invite. My list of North Aurora contacts grew and grew; it took two days to drive through the neighborhood and pass out information to the Village Hall, Recreation Center, Lutheran Church, Catholic Church, Congregational Church, Library and more. Communication with the Mothers Club and the River District Alliance proved useful as they were ready to help out!
Incorporating Uniting America wasn’t easy as I was unable to gauge the size and demographics of the volunteer group. Prepared with promotional materials and games I arrived to a crowd of more than 50 volunteers, listening to the Park District Volunteer Coordinator for directions and guidance. How overwhelming it was to see so many people together, ready to celebrate Earth Day and connect with each other.
The Real Family had a blast that day! Graciela, Nixa, Arsi, Huitzi and Ivy crawled through bushes and up slopes to gather trash items both big and small. It was a surprise to us all as we recovered more than two bags full of plastic jugs, glass bottles, aluminum cans, wrappers, and discarded shoes and clothing. The children really enjoyed them selves and wanted to come back again the following weekend! Best of all though was watching two young boys, Huitzi and Tonatue, as they established their differences and became best of buddies. Tonatue commented on Huitzi’s long hair while Huitzi commented on Tonatue’s accent; none of these differences deterred them. They hiked through brush together and were proud of the work they completed! Maybe I’ll have to take the children’s advice and plan another Clean Up sometime soon…