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More Than Spring Cleaning

Omaha nonprofit organizes huge youth fall cleanup

Zoe Clark, Copy Editor

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Photo by Brian Boerner

YLO Ambassadors at the monument on top of Memorial Park hill with some of their trash

900 volunteers, 36 sites, three days, one goal: to involve Omaha’s youth in the betterment of our environment. The weekend of Oct. 25 was dubbed Youth Fall Cleanup by the nonprofit Keep Omaha Beautiful.

This was the 33rd year of Youth Fall Cleanup, and it was the biggest gathering yet. Youth groups from around Omaha gathered at different parks and locations throughout the weekend, armed with latex gloves and mounds of trash bags.

“People can do litter clean ups all year, but this one is hyper focused on getting youth involved,” said Alyssa Cody, programs and communications specialist of Keep Omaha Beautiful. “Youth are the future of the world, and especially when it comes to an issue like the environment, the youth need to carry the world forward and live sustainably,” Cody continued.

One of the youth groups in attendance that weekend was Creighton’s YLO Ambassadors Program, a group of juniors throughout the Omaha area. The stood at the top of a hill overlooking their task: 67 acres, known to all as Memorial Park.

“When we first arrived, I thought there would hardly be any trash for us to pick up,” said YLO junior Abby McGill. “But by the end, we had filled up multiple huge trash bags,” McGill continued.

The group spent two hours picking up trash around the playground, trails, and wooded perimeter. The inner park is well maintained, so it was a surprise to see such a substantial result.

“It’s such a simple task, and I think people take it for granted,” said YLO Ambassadors Advisor Matthew Moo. “I personally drive past Memorial Park and always think the park looks so clean. It takes effort to keep it that way,” Moo finished.

Going out into the community and picking up trash affects so much more than just the appearance of the city. An article from clarifies that litter pollutes waterways, leaches toxic chemicals into soil and groundwater as it breaks down, can kill aquatic life directly (e.g. through choking or consumption) and indirectly through its impacts on water quality.

Though we can’t stop a hurricane in its tracks or seal up the hole in the ozone layer with a piece of duct tape, we can do our part to help our environment. This free and gratifying solution saves wildlife and keeps our water clean. If you’re not fixing the problem, you’re contributing to to it, so let’s save the world, one wrapper at a time.

Clark - Copy Editor

Zoe became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a junior this year involved in robotics, academic decathlon, and many other electives, and spends what little free time she has reading. You can email her at

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Student News of Skutt Catholic High School
More Than Spring Cleaning