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Caring For Our Parks

by Ramses C. '25
In the morning, Rock Creek is one of the first things I like to see on my way to school. Throughout the years, I've noticed plastic water bottles, plastic bags, and overall trash being left behind after social gatherings. Rock Creek is the most beautiful place in the city, and it saddens me to see it gradually polluted. I worry that the wildlife could be in danger. I knew I had to take action and be of service to the place I call "the beating heart of DC."
"But what can I do to help exactly?" I kept asking myself. It was obvious that trash needed to be picked up, and someone had to do it.

At first I thought of rounding up friends, but I soon realized many were unavailable – after all, it was mid-summer. Oftentimes people need others to accomplish their goals, or they rely on others to help motivate them. However, after I was unsuccessful at organizing a cleaning crew, I decided to simply do it myself. I realized this cleaning project was very personal to me and it wasn’t going to be just a one time thing.

Keeping our community clean is as personal as keeping good personal hygiene. Scanning the area for litter gave me a sense of accomplishment and, in many ways, it was good for me spiritually. Seeing the birds, the squirrels, listening to the water, the trees as the wind hit them, feeling the breeze all while picking up litter was very therapeutic. I feel proud of my community and I’m glad that Burke creates a safe place for me and my friends.

When I realized what was happening to my beloved Rock Creek, I took action. Whenever I see a piece of trash on the street, I safely pick it up and toss it in a trash bin. I encourage you to do the same. This planet is our home, and it is important to keep our environment safe and clean.
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