Families picking up litter to celebrate Earth Day

Positively KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Local parks are often littered with lovely sights, but sometimes, actual litter can ruin those features. With it being National Park Week, and Earth Day falling on Wednesday, The Butterfly House & Aquarium has hosted a week-long event in hopes of inspiring the littlest members of KELOLAND to make big impacts.

Emily Wilson and her family are enjoying a nice walk through Yankton Trail Park.

“I just like to be able to be out of the house, and spend time with my kids, and burn off some of our energy,” Wilson said.

Her sons Colin and Everett, however, are getting a good run in.

“They’ve really enjoyed this because they like to be busy and active and picking up garbage is a good way to help,” Wilson said.

This is the third day this week they’ve scoured parks around town picking up trash.

Colin and Everett helping out mother Earth

“I feel good because I don’t want it to get so dirty,” Colin said.

“The first day, we only got one bag full because we weren’t sure how long we were going to be but we could’ve definitely spent a lot more time out there picking up stuff,” Wilson said.

They aren’t the only ones putting in the extra steps to keep things clean. To celebrate Earth Day, The Butterfly House has been challenging families this week to pick up what they can when out on walks.

“We’re really excited that there is another generation of environmental advocates on the way,” Manahan said.

Development Director Carly Manahan said this is part of their initiative they call the ‘Trash Bash.’ While litter can have a big spread, the impact is looking to have one too.

“It’s been incredible because it’s not only those in our community here in Sioux Falls but it’s also outside in different states,” Manahan said.

Photo Courtesy: The Butterfly House & Aquarium

Families are encouraged to submit photos showcasing their hard work for the chance to win a prize.

Everett: “We found a Nerf gun,”

Wilson: “We found a Nerfgun… and we found a back pack…”

Everett: “And a comb brush and some lotion,”

Wilson: “A comb brush and some lotion,”

“These kids are just so excited to get involved environmentally,” Manahan said.

But the real prize for WIlson is getting to spend more time with her family.

Colin and Everett showing off their green thumbs

“We encourage other people who are looking to get out and do something; this is an easy way to do it, and you can spend time together with your family and help make a positive impact on the planet,” Wilson said.

The winner of the Trash Bash will be chosen at random at noon on Friday. You can send any photos to carly.m@sdaquarium.org or upload them online with the hashtag: #TrashBashSF

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