April 19, 2022
Article by Pickerington Online intern Lydia Scofield,
an eighth grader at Ridgeview STEM Junior High
On April 22nd, 1970, the United States celebrated its first Earth Day and the observance has since spread to many other countries.
In Pickerington, you can honor Earth Day at Combustion Brewery and Taproom, located at 80 West Church Street. They’re hosting a day-long event with the goal of cleaning up the environment and preserving it for generations to come.
“Doing our part to keep our community clean is always important,” said Combustion Taproom Manager, Andy Norris. “The resources we have are limited and we should always be thinking about the future.”
In the morning, Combustion, JDog Junk Removal and the city of Pickerington have organized a litter pick-up of locations around the city. Anyone wanting to participate, just has to meet up at City Hall at 8:30 am on April 22 – no sign-up required.
Everyone who volunteers in the morning will receive a Tshirt.
Volunteers should be prepared to spend quite a bit of time outdoors. This includes wearing sturdy shoes (such as hiking boots), gloves, long pants and comfortable clothing. Sunscreen is highly recommended.
If anyone gets snacky, Combustion is prepared for that. From 11 am to 2 pm, Mersh’s Breakfast Cafe will be there selling breakfast sandwiches and coffee followed by Fancy Feeding You from 4 pm to 9 pm offering upscale sandwiches and sides.
If you’re thirsty and you’re an adult, Combustion and Seven Acre Baker are presenting an Earth Day Beer and Bark Pairing where you can try four of Combustion’s drinks with four of Seven Acre’s candy barks. Combinations like Picktown Cider with Cherry and Pistachio White Chocolate.
From 4 pm to 7 pm, Baker’s Acres is having a pop-up plant sale featuring a “high quality collection of unusual and hard to find houseplants and succulents!”
Starting at 7 pm , there’s also going to be live music performed by Reelin’ In The Years, a local band playing rock songs from the 70’s and 80’s.
If you’re looking for another way to help the environment, there will also be a journey to clean Sycamore Creek, starting at 5:30 PM and ending at 7 PM, on Friday. If a volunteer wants swag, you should sign up here by Thursday, April 22, otherwise just meet us at the parking lot of Pickerington City Hall at 5:30 pm.
The creek clean-up is organized by us at Pickerington Online. There’s a lot of trash along Sycamore Creek especially through the city’s parks, if we get enough volunteers we will also clean the area around Sycamore Pond and part of the Coyote Run Nature Preserve that the creek flows through.
The clean-up counts as volunteer hours for National Honor Society and Scouts BSA. Girl Scouts can earn Earth Day patches.
The city of Pickerington is loaning us garbage bags and some tools, but if you have your own, I recommend you bring them. JDogg will haul away the trash.
On Sunday, I went out to look around Sycamore Creek with my mom to prepare for the creek clean-up on Friday and suggested that we bring a trash bag to pick up any litter we find.
As someone who has done a creek clean-up before, I knew how much garbage to expect floating along in the water. However, when we got to the creek, I was honestly surprised with how much we found.
The worst of it wasn’t even near the creek, but in front of the covered bridge, parking lots and pavilions of Sycamore Park. Someone had shot off confetti, presumably in some sort of Easter celebration, and it was everywhere. I’m not an expert on confetti, but based on the fact it was incredibly shiny, I probably shouldn’t eat it, meaning neither should the birds or other wildlife.
In all seriousness, if you decide to have a party outdoors, please clean up after yourself, or use biodegradable items. Both would be preferable, because as I’ve been taught in scouts, “Leave a place better than when you found it.”.
Sycamore Park definitely wasn’t treated to anywhere near this degree of respect. There were candy wrappers everywhere, along with dirty takeout boxes hidden in the bushes, and tin foil under some branches. Near the Pickering Shelter, there was a startling amount of trash, especially considering that there were trash cans under the shelter itself.
Over by the tree line, we found some sort of clear, plastic-square that at first glance, appeared to be glass. Further investigation proved that the square was plastic, but part of it had been chipped off. If those pieces had been bitten off by an animal, that would be yet another creature who could die because of consuming plastic.
In the arboretum there were more candy wrappers and smashed Easter eggs – the plastic kind and hard boiled.
Up by the pond, my mom and I discovered a goose egg smashed against some big rocks. Given that it was far from any goose nests, we realized that this might’ve been a purposeful attack on the geese.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not fond of geese. They may not have teeth in the traditional sense of the word, but the pointy spikes in their beaks are downright terrifying. Not to mention, they move with such confidence, and they’re extremely loud.
However, even if I didn’t have this fear, I wouldn’t mess with their nests. Sure, I may dislike them, but like everything else in nature, I have a special kind of respect for them. The only reason they’ll harass me is if they feel threatened, or if I’m too close to their nests or young.
Even if this broken egg was simply an accident, it’s not unheard of for people to pick up birds’ eggs and destroy them. In fact, it happened back when I was in middle school, when a kid threw all the eggs from a nest against the school’s wall.
This disrespect for nature should not be tolerated! Geese, ducks, spiders, fish… every animal has as much right to the world as we do. It’s our world, not just the human world. We need to do our part to clean up after ourselves and make the world a better place.
Sure, there may be generations of littering to clean up, and yeah, it’ll never truly reverse the damage inflicted on our environment. But, I would like to grow up into a world where our lakes, parks, and creeks aren’t just places for people to toss their garbage.
The childhood joy of being able to wade around in a creek, laughing as I slip on the moss-covered rock near the covered bridge that we’ve dubbed “slippery island”, is something that I wish to pass onto the next generation, and the one after that, then the one after that.
It may take time. It may take effort. But if you want the world to change for the better, you have to grab the bull by the horns, and take initiative.
It’s not even just volunteering for Earth Day clean-ups. Next time you go for a walk, bring a trash bag with you, and collect the trash that you find. If you throw a party outdoors, use biodegradable glitter and confetti, because we all know you’re never going to collect it all. If you go camping, leave the campsite better than you found it.
There’s so much you can do for the world if you just open your eyes and go outside!