By: Maria Hinton

Making a Difference, Fairway Volunteers at the Metro Parks for Litter Cleanup

Litter, in all its forms, poses a significant environmental and aesthetic challenge for communities around the world. Whether it’s a plastic bottle tossed carelessly from a car window or discarded food wrappers strewn across a park, litter diminishes the beauty of our surroundings and harms the environment. Fortunately, there is a simple yet powerful way to combat this issue: volunteering for litter cleanup.


How and why we got Involved

Through workshops and group meetings, we knew it was time for Fairway to be more visible within our community.  We worked with the Cleveland MetroParks System to identify a park that could use our help.  We spent four hours walking through wooded areas and ravines with gloves, “pickers” and buckets to fill…..and boy did we fill them!  We were told by our wonderful guide, Lucy, that as a group, we filled more trash bags than any other group that she could remember.  Litter cleanup is a simple but impactful way to make a positive difference in the community and the world at large. So, be like us!  Grab a trash bag, gather your friends, and start making your neighborhood a cleaner, more beautiful place.  Your efforts, no matter how small, can have a big impact.

The Importance of Litter Cleanup

  • Environmental Impact – Litter, especially plastic waste, has a detrimental impact on the environment. It can harm wildlife, disrupt ecosystems, and leach harmful chemicals into the soil and water. By volunteering for litter cleanup, we can help mitigate these effects and restore the natural beauty of our community.
  • Aesthetic Improvement – Litter not only harms the environment but also detracts from the beauty of public spaces. Clean and attractive environments foster a sense of pride and well-being among community members. Litter cleanup initiatives make our surroundings more pleasant for everyone.
  • Community Building – Participating in litter cleanup events fosters a sense of community. It brings people together who share a common goal: to make their neighborhood cleaner and safer. This sense of unity strengthens social bonds and encourages further collaboration on other community issues.  As a group, we had an amazing time bonding while doing amazing work for the environment.

The Impact of Our Efforts

  • Visible Difference – One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering for litter cleanup is the immediate and visible impact created. After just a few hours of dedicated work, an area can be transformed into a clean, inviting space.
  • Education and Awareness – Litter cleanup activities also serve as a powerful educational tool. They raise awareness about the consequences of littering and inspire others to adopt responsible behaviors.
  • Positive Ripple Effect – We hope our involvement in litter cleanup can have a ripple effect within our community. When people see positive changes, they are more likely to join efforts or be inspired to act on their own.
  • Environmental Stewardship – By volunteering for litter cleanup, we have become a steward of the environment. Our actions contribute to a sustainable future, demonstrating the importance of caring for the planet to future generations.