April 9, 2007
Spring break, spring cleanup
Kids found fun on their spring break picking up junk near Spring Lake
By Kristen Miller
Spring break became spring cleanup for seven Dassel-Cokato kids who found fun in helping the environment.
Clare and Gavin Gillman, 8, began picking up garbage along the shoreline of Spring Lake in Dassel during their break from school March 29.
“There was no money involved, they were just doing it for fun,” said Clare’s mother, Dawn Gillman of Dassel.
Clare has always been task-oriented and therefore, enjoys seeing progress in certain projects, Dawn explained.
She thinks Clare gets it from her grandfather, Douglas Kurtz, who was dedicated to recycling even before it was common, Dawn said.
The spring cleaners included Clare, Gavin, Olivia, and Eli Gillman from Dassel along with Gaven, Jakob, and Brenna Amundsen from Cokato.
The kids began by walking and cleaning up the Spring Lake shoreline and its spring area, but it quickly became a neighborhood cleanup with other yards and ditches around the area.
“We got to keep going. There’s more to pick up,” Clare told her mother.
Near the shoreline, the kids collected rusty oil filters, cans, plastic, glass, and even a mailbox, Dawn said. Near the shore, they pulled out a rusty frame. They ended up with a garbage can full of litter.
When Dawn asked the kids why this was important to them, the Gillman kids said, “Because we are helping the animals, people, and the fish in the lake,” while the Amundsens said, “We are showing kindness to others.”
Olivia, 6, thought it was important to keep the lake clean because she doesn’t want the fish to die.
The kids want others to know that picking up and helping the environment can be fun.
“This is a good tool to teach kids the principles of nature and having our enviroment clean, also that they can have fun as well,” Dawn said.
She recommends doing anything that makes it fun for the kids. For example, they went walking through the woods on a nature walk and they even made up a cheer.
The spring cleaners all put their hands in the middle and cheered, “Garbage Rocks.”
The kids enjoyed their spring break activity. In fact, they couldn’t wait to go out again, Dawn said.
“There was no Disney World for the Gillmans and the Amundsens. We had fun picking up junk,” Dawn said.
“They all just had a blast,” she added.