I remember when I was growing up, my Mom would say to us “go play outside – I’m not raising house plants”. We would always go and find something fun to do outdoors and then we would not want to not come in for dinner! My son and I recently went exploring at a small pond in a park not far from our house. We saw quite a few things; small fish, a painted turtle, ducks and geese, plus a few rabbits. All of this wildlife could be found not more than three blocks from the house – we live in the city no less, who knew?
We also saw something that wasn’t so nice – a lot of trash lying in the grass and floating in the pond. Later that day we headed back down with a bag to pick up all the litter. We filled the bag with all kinds of trash, mostly empty plastic water bottles and snack wrappers, plus a few tennis balls … and then put it in the trash can that was sitting right there at the edge of the park. There was so much trash we went back the next day and filled up a second bag.
That second day we also got a big surprise while walking around the pond – we stumbled upon a Momma Goose sitting on her nest. She had been watching us clean up “her” house and seemed happy with our progress. She wasn’t thrilled with us getting so close though. We have been back a few times to check on her, always keeping our distance. Hopefully, one of these days we will see her babies swimming around the pond behind her.
Every year when the snow melts, all the ugly trash that has been hidden shows up — take a bag the next time you go for a walk and pick up some trash. You’ll feel good about the environment and you can teach your kids to take care of the only real home we all share.