Clean Up Trash

Success Story -
6th grade students from Christ the King School in Minneapolis adopted a stretch of Minnehaha Creek (with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources), pledging twice yearly clean-ups. Students also tested water quality and helped the Minneapolis Park Board plant wild grasses and flowers to stabilize eroding creek banks.

Step-by-Step Instructions
There's more to a successful clean-up than heading off witha garbage bag in hand.

  1. Identify a site that needs a clean-up, and get permission.
  2. Scout out the site and create a map to divide up assignments.
  3. Plan to have collected trash hauled away.
  4. Assemble bags, gloves, first aid kits, and other equipment.
  5. Arrange transportation.
  6. Clean up. Be safe.
  7. Reflect and celebrate.

The Pollution Prevention Project Guide has a three-page "to-do" list with several items under each of the seven headings above. Includes a safety handout for students. Read detailed "Cleanups" instructions online or download as a PDF file.

In Minnesota, you can officially "adopt" a stretch of stream, river, or lake shore with the Department of Natural Resources. Get a packet of information such as what to do with tires and car batteries. Get free bags and gloves, a video, grants for tire disposal, advice, and more. Adopt-A-River, DNR Building, 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 297-5476. Check out the Adopt-A-River web site. Look for "Waters, Rivers and Streams" and then "Adopt-A-River."

Background Fact Sheet for Students - Click to read on-line and/or download "Garbage River and Trash Can Lake," a one-page fact sheet for students explaining the science behind clean-ups.

For Teachers:

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