By Mindy Miner
Although our community has been celebrating the Start of Summer for an amazing 51 years, this year was a first for the new Rockford Sustainability Committee (SusCom). Three of our Board Members – Kerrie LeBlanc, Nicole Forward and Mindy Miner teamed up with some Parkside students, parents and third-grade teacher Gigi Weaver to participate in the parade. Mindy and Nicole were in an all-electric Nissan Leaf (we had the easy job!). Kerrie led the Parkside “Ploggers”. Plogging is a new exercise phenomenon, started in Sweden, that is sweeping the globe. You exercise while picking up trash. Our Parkside Ploggers took this to a new level, picking up everything from the ubiquitous candy wrappers to banana peels to, yes, a corn cob! As you can see in the pictures, they were prepared for all-purpose plogging with packs for trash, recycling and composting! These Parkside students, parents and teachers are part of a larger “Michigan Green School” initiative. Their Sustainability Committee, led by Kerrie LeBlanc, applied for Green School status several years ago. Through their teamwork and programs like “Waste Free Wednesdays”, they have achieved the EverGreen level, the highest level possible. Thank you, Parkside! You are an inspiration to us all.
In addition to the parade, you may have noticed some recycling areas near the beer tents this year. The Rockford SusCom secured these recycling bags from Kent County and we plan to make them available for every festival in the future. Thanks to all who pitched in and to the Rockford Public Services for helping out. It was a great first effort!