Over the weekend, 80 volunteers came out on a cloudy Saturday to celebrate Earth Day through service. On April 23, families, friends, and neighbors showed up at Daleway Park in Lynnwood, Washington to clean up trash, pile new wood chips on the playground, and remove invasive plants in a community-wide statement of care for the environment.
Global Peace Youth-USA organized this project in partnership with the Lynnwood City Parks Department. Lynnwood Mayor, Nicola Smith, welcomed volunteers. After sharing the origins of the first Earth Day in 1970, she encouraged volunteers to demonstrate their ownership over making positive change in their respective environments by becoming leaders and role models in their communities.
GPY team leader, Sophia, said, “Maybe it starts with picking up trash. But as leaders we can take these steps to make a difference in our homes, community, and even the nation.”
Eleven trained GPY-USA team leaders orchestrated group icebreakers, conveyed instructions for service projects, and led team discussions over lunch. Volunteers were asked how they could continue to make an impact in their environments in their daily lives, as members of their own families, schools, and even as a citizen of their nation. Kids wrote down their responses collectively on a team poster. Following the activity, participants laughed their way through a team building relay race competition.
Lynnwood volunteers expressed their appreciation for the project as an opportunity to get to know new friends from different backgrounds of race, faith, and culture in a day of fun and service to the community.
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Photography by Takae Goto