Group dedicated to protecting water cleans W. MI parks

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Ah-Nab-Awen Park can brings you as close as you can get to the Grand River without getting wet and unfortunately, a lot of litter gets left behind.

But luckily, there’s a group that’s doing what it can to pick up after visitors.

“Just to go out and do these cleanups and show people that are enjoying these parks that it’s nice to leave a park cleaner than when you found it,” said Alex Johnston, the treasurer of the Grand Rapids Water Protectors.

The Grand Rapids Water Protectors are in the park for the first time and its volunteers normally load up about 10 to 20 garbage bags per cleanup.

The Grand Rapids Water Protectors clean litter at Ah-Nab-Awen Park on Aug. 23, 2020.

But it isn’t done for accolades — It’s done to discourage people from adding to the problem.

“I’m hoping that at least six or seven other people see me picking that trash up,” he said. “Because when you see someone do that, even if you’re just driving by, you might be less inclined to throw that McDonald’s bag out of the window.”

Each job lasts about three hours with the goal of the group being to lead by example.

“Not only because it makes you feel good, but because that’s the future that we need to strive for where we have a litterless world,” Johnston said.

Next week, the group plans to spend some time at Riverside Park.

More information on the Grand Rapids Water Protectors can be found on its Facebook page.

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