Hey, it’s Kari, one of Tread Lightly!’s summer interns.
I want to tell you about Tread Lightly!’s most recent adventure at Jordanelle State Park. As many of us know, June is National Get Outdoors Month and Saturday was National Get Outdoors Day. We at Tread Lightly! could think of no better way to spend it then to head up to Jordanelle State Park and enjoy the beautiful, clear day. We were really excited to spend the day having fun in the state park. A few members had planned to rent paddle boards while others had planned to play in the water by the beach. Although, as anxious as we were to get out there and be active, we had also gone to do our part and participate in a park wide clean-up.
We set up base camp in the Cove Pavilion, a central location where park visitors could see our banner and stop by to find out more about Tread Lightly! and Ride On Utah. After applying sunscreen and getting hydrated, our team of outstanding volunteers and staff, spread out between the personal watercraft ramp and the marina. We were armed with gloves, trash bags and a goal to pick up as much trash as possible.
John, one of Jordanelle’s park rangers, had explained to us his job of cleaning up trash every morning and how he was thrilled to see a group of people who were as dedicated to keeping the park clean as he was. The plan was to comb the beach and pavilions for two hours and then meet back at the pavilion for a delicious lunch of hot dogs and veggie burgers.
I paired up with Tread Lightly’s other summer intern, Lacy and we set out. I have to be honest, I expected this part of the day to be very long and tiring. However, as we walked along the beach, we were laughing and talking. It was great to see families enjoying the park as well, some were even curious enough to ask us why we were picking up trash. This experience really helped me to realize how important it is to pick up after myself. I was finding everything from bottle caps to lost shoes and even a sopping wet blanket that we had to lug to the dumpster. Several times we found fishing lines wrapped around logs that could have easily entrapped fish if it were under water. We would come across other volunteers and compare how much trash each of us had picked up. It turned out to be a very fun activity that had a huge impact on the state park. We finally met for lunch, piling our trash bags in a huge clump. I was amazed to see how much trash we found in the area that we worked in. I had hoped that we found most of it.
Once the task of cleaning the park was done, we all set out on our own activities. We knew that we had made a difference so that other park visitors could enjoy the lake without dealing with litter. I had also hoped that we had influenced some visitors to pick up after themselves so that everyone can enjoy the park for the rest of the summer.