Last week, we celebrated Earth Day. I’m not sure what you did but here’s a little glimpse into what my week looked like! First, I had to plan because I knew I was going to busy.
Tuesday, I went to my nearest national park which overlooks the Tennessee River. It’s such a beautiful spot to enjoy and see exactly what I’m fighting for.
Wednesday, I went to Arrowhead Resort in Spring city, Tennessee to place 4 monofilament bins. Spoke to their owner/manager and had a very productive meeting. Later in the day I did an interview about rivers and pollution with ABC news live.
Thursday, I placed another monofilament bin at Booker T. Washington state park. I also met with my local chapter of trout unlimited and am working with them to place 8-10 more monofilament bins in heavily fished areas.
Friday, I spoke to the biology and wildlife club at University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) about my work and how every person can do something to improve the world around them for ourselves and our wildlife. After this, I went to CMC recycling which is where I recycle all of my aluminum to fund my monofilament project. (This turned out to be an awesome trip, my mom won a super cool griddle/grill after their guessing game)
Saturday was officially EARTH DAY! there was so much we could have done and joined on cleanups with other groups but by then I was pretty worn out so we went to another recycling center just to drop off a few bags of plastics for recycling then we did a family cleanup.
It was a busy week and things haven’t really slow brown and that’s ok. Keeping the motivation going to help keep our planet clean is exciting. I’ll post the link to the ABC interview below.
Every year, around the state, people join forces to cleanup our waterways. This year, I was asked to help with a cleanup and I was joined with Commissioner Salyers from TDEC (Tennessee department of environment & conservation) he came all the way from Nashville! He was with Mike Robertson, director of state parks (if you know me, you know I love our public lands, state & national parks) so this was huge. There were also so many others who can from across our state to join in.
I haven’t heard totals yet but I know we picked up A LOT! This was such a fun day and just proves, even a kid can make a difference and inspire adults.
I am so excited to say I was awarded a grant from Tennessee American Water. This funding will further my monofilament recycling project. I am hoping to expand this project into more state parks and hopefully national parks!
If you know of a spot with a lot of fishing and discarded fishing line, let me know me I will try to add a monofilament bin and address this problem.
Rally day for homeschoolers was in Nashville last week. This is an amazing way for young people to see how our government works first hand and I had the best day!
Not only did I see how our legislative processes work but I was able to meet with so many of my states influential leaders. My State Representative, Greg Vital of district 29 took his whole day to show me around and introduce me to some of the wonderful people leading Tennessee.
I learned SO MUCH, not only about government but our state in general. A special thank you to Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, State Comptroller and TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) for taking time out of their busy day to have just another Tennessee kid share my love for our state!
A few weeks ago, after almost a year of work on aluminum can recycling , I hit the 1 TON mark! I keep track of how many pounds each time I take them to be recycled and it took 10 months to recycle 1 ton of aluminum.
The cans I pick up are from Play.Wash.Pint. A local dog play park where people meet, gather, hang out and their dogs can play in a safe space. This Business hated to see all of this potential just to the trash so I partnered with them and pick up all their aluminum and some plastic for recycling. The money I make from these cans goes to make my monofilament bins that are placed along the Tennessee River. There are now 17 out and I couldn’t have done it without this partnership. If you have an idea, and don’t know where to start or how to find it, look in the trash, who knows, you may find an idea? And you can help the planet too!
This month has been super busy and it doesn’t look like next month is going to lighten up. I’m not complaining, I LOVE it. I love being able to raise more and more awareness for our great planet, for our waterways and our wildlife.
I was able to visit Yellowstone National Park as well as Grand Teton National Park and be immersed in wildlife and nature and it was such a beautiful time! Moose, Bear, Wolves, and Bison were all on my list and I saw all of them.
Ella & I, as The Cleanup Kids, were honored to be named in the top 25 for the prestigious Gloria Barron Prize for young heroes. When we hear if being just nominated for these awards, it confirms we are making a difference and our voices are being heard.
The same day, we also learned we are finalists for the GoBlue awards with the Loggerhead Marine Center in Florida. Ella & I have both been there and researched sea turtles and have even done full videos on turtles if you want to check it out in our YouTube channel.
I also have some other things in the works that I can’t say yet but it’s turning out to be an exciting year and I am so thankful for the support of my parents as well as the people who have given so much to help me learn and grow and pursue ocean and river conservation.
I know I’m just a kid, but we can make a difference! We can and WILL change the world!
I was shocked and surprised to be a recipient of this prestigious award. Volunteering, cleaning our planet of pollution is what makes me feel accomplished and I don’t do it for the awards or accolades but this one will be framed and I am proud of it. Just remember, anyone can make a difference!
I was able to see an amazing beautiful bird this week, the Snowy owl! I live in Tennessee so these birds are not normally seen here. This is the first one in my city/county and only the 15th seen on our state. It’s thought that females will wait until they know there’s enough food so when they do have chicks, there’s more than average and they need to expand their territories so they sometimes go further south.
This beauty isn’t the biggest owl but one of the heaviest because of the thick feathers, which keep them warm in cold climates like the arctic.