May 2019 Christchurch, NZ
Jacob Panozzo and Millie Reed
Today we got down and dirty with the Mother of All Cleanups. This river restoration took the form of a litter removal- yeah, we picked up trash today. There were plenty of laughs at finding an unopened beer, some underwear, and even a sink. Thanks to oversight from local coordinators and the NZ Department of Conservation, we also learned a little while making our contribution to a cleaner environment.
Beginning with some local background, we were informed about the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake and the associated red-zoning of property after liquefaction of the earth. We made both ecological and health connections with the accounts of destroyed infrastructure pouring fresh water and sewage into the streams of liquefaction. Though these recollections were grim, there were small bits of inspiration within. The rallying effect on the community was something to be proud of, and we saw some of that residual cohesion today.
The community brought forth many volunteers to clean the riverbanks today. After the cleanup, we gathered for sausage sizzlers and drinks with all the other volunteers that had spread across several kilometers of riverbank.
All this was donated in the name of a cleaner community. Our group was even recognized for our participation, as people investing in a better world both near and far. Hopefully we can bring home a commitment to helping our own communities find a similar bond.
“Trees. Birds. Rivers. Sky
Running with my Uncle Hec.