Hundreds volunteer in Earth Day cleanup efforts across Chicago area

Chicago News

CHICAGO More than 200 groups across the Chicago area volunteered in Earth Day cleanups this weekend, all as part of an effort to give back to both the community and the planet.

Among the groups was Girl Scout Troop 26062, who picked up trash and pulled weeds in the area near 47th Street and Prairie Avenue in Bronzeville.

The volunteers are among the thousands in the region aiming to give back this Earth Day.

“It’s a pleasure. It’s just so nice that people care enough to give their time and energy,” coordinator Liz Nichols said.

At Evanston’s South Boulevard beach, another group gathered to pick up trash alongside the lakefront.

“I’m a little sad because there’s so much garbage I picked up and it’s only a small percentage of what’s on the beach alone,” Papastratakos said.

The generational shift is apparent as it has been more than 50 years since the first Earth Day. A similar mission remains with a greater sense of urgency.

“When you do a little bit, it makes you realize the difference and that it has a difference and it’s contagious, in a good way,” Nichols said.

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