Fun Times Celebrating Earth Month

While my daughter, grandson, and husband pier-fished on a Gulf Coast lagoon, the wind swept one of our plastic bait containers into the waves. We felt awful, but it would be dangerous to swim or kayak out to get it, so we agreed to compensate by spending the afternoon picking up litter along a remote beach. It turned out to be a fun beginning for Earth Month.

My twelve-year-old grandson, Jay, was the perfect companion. His bag filled up quickly, so when he found a large plastic tub washed ashore, he decided he’d fill it up too. While we did so, he entertained us with his ideas of how we could survive here. Jay pointed to a thin slab of wood that had washed ashore. “We could use that for one wall of our shelter. And that plastic bottle could catch drinking water when it rains.” 

I pointed out we might also start a fire with the plastic bottle. “We’d need to let the sunlight stream through and form a focal point on a piece of dry bark. We’d keep feeding the flame tinder until it grew into a sizable fire.”

Jay had his tub half-filled with styrofoam and plastics when he found a large dead fish. “We’ll need to eat,” he announced. Papa explained how we could make a fishing rod using a found bottle or pop can, string, a makeshift hook, and caught bait. Jay patiently unwound string from driftwood, and I found a bobber. Our imaginations were off. Our bags were nearly full when Jay found a half-deflated soccer ball. 

“Hey, here’s our entertainment.” He went on to find two old baseballs, too. Our Gilligan Island life had just gotten more fun.

Each of us had all the litter we could carry and a fun memory, too. Local groups are organizing events sure to be equally satisfying and fun. In the Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton area, the Mirror Lake Association, Rotary, and Stewards of the Dells ask that people clean any road in the area before or on May 4. Call Debbie Kinder, (608) 253-6658, who is coordinating Project Clean, and let her know which stretch of road you’re adopting. She also has bags available. Then, at 8:30 on May 4, join others at Mirror Lake Park for a cleanup. Afterward, you’ll get a cool T-shirt. I’m looking forward to the party with a free lunch (ribs and salmon!) at Ralph Hines Park which is next to the Lake Delton Elementary School.

We each have an opportunity to make our unique contribution to Mother Earth. Some of us will become better recyclers, opting for a reusable water bottle rather than buying plastic ones. Others will conserve gasoline by hopping on their bike instead. Some of us will choose to concentrate on the land by pulling evasive species, planting a tree, or studying which flowers and bushes will support pollinators like hummingbirds and bees. Others will compost, support a local farmer, or simply enjoy an afternoon of forest bathing. We’ll each contribute and celebrate in our special way. 

Hope to see you at the May 4th picnic.

One Reply to “Fun Times Celebrating Earth Month”

David Clemens

One correction, if you are cleaning a roadside in the Dells area, let Dave Clemens know. Amanda McGowan is arranging the details for the Stewards of the Dells. She has taken over for Debbie Kinder. Dave is arranging the t shirts, picnic and clean up around everywhere except where the Stewards are cleaning. Call or text Dave at 608-408-8941

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