Everybody Clean Up!
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
When my children were toddlers, we sang a catchy little tune whenever it was time to clean up. Mostly just “everybody clean up” over and over to a different melody and cadence, but it stuck, making clean up time a fun game during a trying age.
As the annual Earth Day celebration rolls around this year, it’s time to do just that – Everybody Clean Up – but on a larger scale.
Much larger, actually.
Earth Day is a global annual event, officially observed on April 22nd, which celebrates the environmental movement and raises awareness about pollution and keeping our planet clean to sustain life. Back in the 1970s, there were no government agencies in place to protect the Earth. Nobody seemed to be concerned about clean air, water or land at all.
It just wasn’t a “thing” back then.
Senator Gaylord Nelson knew the importance, however, and created the concept of Earth Day to bring awareness of keeping our environment clean to the forefront of our government agencies. As a result of the first observance of Earth Day in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed. Earth Day also led to the creation of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Over the years, the movement has grown.
Communities across the nation plan week-long events highlighting various aspects utilized to keep our environment clean. The 3 R’s of waste management play a key role in the execution of many Earth Day celebrations.
Reduce – Reuse – Recycle
This simple concept is all about minimizing the amount of waste we produce, repurposing items to use them again or in another capacity and remembering to recycle products that can be used for other intent. Each concept is an integral part of the equation to keep the environment clean for future generations to enjoy in the years to come.
In Clear Lake, our Earth Day festivities kicked off this week as groups and organizations come together to participate in the Trash Bash. This event is just as it sounds as people pick up the hoards of garbage which have seemed to blow around during the winter months. That bitter Iowa wind (and let’s be honest, it just might be worse in the spring) tends to wreak a bit of havoc on our precious landscape. Now is the time to get things cleaned up so we can all enjoy the beauty of the summer months at the Lake!
There are currently 25 teams registered and committed to a specific area in our community, but there is still space for you if you’d like to sign up!! Simply go to https://earthdayclearlake.org/events/trash-bash/ to register and choose your location!
Another fan favorite of the Earth Day activities is the annual Green Expo held at the Surf Ballroom. After being on hiatus the past few years due to COVID restrictions, we are THRILLED to be back in person! This event is held on Thursday, April 21st from 4-7pm and is open to the public. Be sure to stop by and visit with all your favorite local businesses.
Pritchard EV will be there with three of their electric vehicles, answering questions and offering insight into their new EV line. Patrons will be able to check out a Chevy Bolt and a Ford E-transit in front of the Surf. There will also be a Ford Mach-E on site available to test drive around the block!
Saturday is the culmination of all the planning and preparations as runners get on their mark, get set and GO for a run/walk around City Park and down South Shore Drive. This 5k/10K event will begin at 9am on Saturday morning, starting at the seawall. Prizes are awarded to winners in various age divisions – but most importantly, it’s getting out and being active that counts! Registration can still be completed Saturday morning before the race, so if you get a wild hair and decide to GO for it, we’ll see you at the Lakeview room to get signed up!
Following the race, there will be an Outdoor Fest held in City Park from 10am-1pm. Along with more community clean up and toy sharing opportunities, kids can enjoy bounce houses, tug of war, and obstacle course, family games, grab & go bags, and a parade! Food trucks will be on site, you can check out the trumpeter swan flyway, and there will be an Iowa Turtles special program at 11am.
It’s a jam-packed day of family fun all for the purpose of celebrating our beautiful Earth and doing everything we can to keep it clean. Special THANKS of appreciation to sponsors, CLTel, Clear Lake Bank & Trust, Lashier Graphic Signs, Skips Kicks, Kingland, and the Hanson Foundation for putting on such an enjoyable event.
We love Clear Lake, and we are so thankful for everyone in doing their part to keep our community clean. The common thread of caring for the well-being of our families, community and our natural home is what the Earth Day celebration in Clear Lake is all about!