Global Awareness

Crystal Clear: Russian River Cleanup

Written by Heidi Blythe (Class of 2022) and Jaimie Yu (Class of 2022)

Photographs and Video by Rachel Blythe (Class of 2022)

On an early autumn morning, ten seniors from Developing Virtue Secondary School woke up early to volunteer at the Mill Creek Park cleanup. After boarding the white school van, they ventured past downtown Ukiah and drove into the woods to the Russian River.

Upon arrival, the seniors and volunteer teachers, Jin Jr Shr, Dr. Yu Chen, and Ms. Phi, were given safety instructions by Mr. Joe, a member of the Ukiah Conservation Center. Heeding his warnings, the ten girls and three teachers went on their merry way to protect the environment and provide the animals with a cleaner home.

Within two hours, the volunteers managed to collect a whopping 300 cigarette butts and 50 cans and bottles, as well as three big bags full of waste. These were all products of human activity and although the amount we collected may seem like a lot, it was merely a dot on the map compared to all the litter on our planet. If everyone on earth would engage in this activity, the world would be a much healthier and more beautiful place for all living beings.

“Picking up trash was a really tiring process; our hands and legs were sore. However, while we walked back to the van, seeing the clean roads made us really happy,” a senior remarked after the experience.

After cleaning up the river, the seniors spotted littering that they had never noticed before as they drove past downtown Ukiah again. Cleaning up the environment is everyone’s responsibility; the Earth is our home, so we must do our utmost to maintain its well-being.