Have you ever been enjoying the beauty of nature when suddenly you see a soda can, fast food wrappers, plastic grocery bags, furniture, tires or the ubiquitous plastic water bottle?
Litter in the preserves can not only ruin a nature outing, but it also is dangerous to wildlife and a costly societal problem.
That is why the Forest Preserve District is launching a new digital campaign, “Litter: Public Enemy No. 1,” to educate visitors about the destructive nature of litter, the monetary cost to clean it up and the toll it can take on flora and fauna.
"The biggest issues we have with litter are its unsightliness to the preserve visitors who see litter strewn about on a trail or preserve access area, and also its harmfulness to wildlife," said Ralph Schultz, the Forest Preserve District's Executive Director.
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In addition to raising awareness and educating the public about this problem, the campaign will seek to motivate and encourage people to be proactive. Information will be published on how people can help prevent litter from becoming an issue in their neighborhoods and local preserves. Also, a preserve cleanup event is being held on Saturday, July 31 so people can help make a difference collectively.
As part of this effort, the Forest Preserve will be distributing pickers to the first 100 interested community members who want to get involved in eradicating this enemy of nature. Pickers can be picked up at one of the following visitor centers: Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee Township, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township and Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet.
In addition, throughout the campaign, videos and photos will be shared on social media to help educate the public on the problems associated with litter and how it goes far beyond our communities.
Here are the stories to look for in the coming weeks:
The “Litter: Public Enemy No. 1” campaign follows the District’s award-winning “Don’t Be a Jerk” series in 2019. That series was designed to promote better behavior in the preserves and it featured videos and stories on trail and fishing etiquette, controlling your dog, and properly disposing of garbage.
Both campaigns are designed to educate members of the public on how they can become part of a team to protect nature, help preserve Will County’s natural resources and also make sure everyone can enjoy nature outings without having to look at garbage left behind by someone else.
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