Keeping Chestermere Clean

    Keeping Chestermere Clean_MG_1194

    Five-year-old Gavin Bustard put what he was learning in school into practice when he cleaned up the garbage around Kinniburgh Pond May 4. Photo by Jeremy Broadfield

    One Chestermere elementary student is putting into practice what he is learning in the classroom and is helping keep our community clean.
    Five-year-old Gavin Bustard is learning about recycling, litter, the environment, and the need to protect the environment in school.
    It’s a lesson he has started to put into practice as he walks to and from school in Kinniburgh.
    “Gavin’s taken an interest in our walks to and from school,” said his mom M’Liss Bustard.
    “I wanted to pick up garbage,” he said.
    Gavin picks up the litter as he finds it and puts it in the trash bins as they leave the park.
    When he first started to pick up the trash M’Liss didn’t know what he was doing or why.
    “When he started the curriculum I hadn’t known about it,” she said, “and he went to pick up garbage and I said Gavin it’s dirty.
    “And he said Mommy we’ve got to keep the earth clean,” said M’Liss.
    After his explanation, she let him clean up the garbage on their walks.
    “I was like…you know what he’s right,” she said.
    Once she knew what he was doing, M’Liss encouraged Gavin continue practicing what he was learning.
    Then on May 4, after talking with his mom, Gavin decided to clean up the trash from around the lake.
    “On Thursday after school I had said do you want to walk the pond with a garbage bag and pick up garbage,” said M’Liss.
    “He was all over it,” she said.
    They went home to grab a large garbage bag, something Gavin didn’t think they would fill, and started off around the pond.
    “I grabbed a big garbage bag and he said mommy you don’t need one that big,” she said.
    As it turned out, they had no problem filling the bag.
    “It filled up surprisingly fast,” said M’Liss.
    They made it about halfway around the pond before Gavin started to get tired and the bag filled up.
    As the pair worked, Gavin would keep talking about how they were helping the earth and that if you don’t clean it, “the earth gets sick”.
    “He was quite proud of himself,” said his mom.
    In school Gavin has been learning about pollution and protecting the environment.
    “They’ve learned about recycling and what’s recyclable,” said M’Liss.
    “They’ve been learning about picking up garbage and why it’s important not to leave it, and what it means to the animals and the trees and everybody around us,” she said.
    The trash that they cleaned up was a combination of individual litter like food wrappers and construction garbage that has likely blown there from the many homes under construction in Kinniburgh.
    Gavin and his mom also found some unique items thrown out around the pond.
    “We found a big plastic piece and we found wood and we found a tool,” said Gavin.
    Gavin, who said that he likes playing and walking along the path around the pond, said that it is even better now that the space is cleaner.