Mother and daughter hope their effort helps Mother Nature

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April 23, 2010
— Six-year-old Emma Kroll on Thursday kept up an Earth Day tradition that started when she was a baby.

Emma and her mother, Jamie, walked trash patrol in an empty field along Wright Road just north of Highway 14.

Armed with a blue plastic recycling bin and a drawstring trash bag, the two walked the dandelion-dotted land and picked up golf balls, newspapers, fast-food wrappers, plastic containers, plastic bags, aluminum cans and lots of Styrofoam pieces.

“Emma, is this the bag you wanted?’’ Jamie yelled so she could be heard over the noise of the wind and traffic.

“Yeah!” Emma shouted back before running to grab the bag that had been knotted around a branch poking from the ground.

The two started their annual Earth Day outing Thursday as soon as Emma was dismissed from her kindergarten class at Harmony Elementary School. They spent an hour making the land cleaner.

Every year as soon as the snow melts, Emma starts scouting spots for the two to pick up trash.

“We try to pick a spot we drive past so we can see how much better it looks when we’re done. We want to make sure they’re really messy,’’ Jamie said.

“It was the messiest,’’ Emma said.

Jamie has instilled respect for the earth since Emma and her brothers—now 15 and 13—were little. Emma proudly explained she is a member of the Green Team at school that is trying to save the planet.

“Remember: reduce, reuse and recycle,’’ she proclaimed.

“Even not on Earth Day I do this and have did it since I was a baby,’’ Emma said.

It’s true, her mother said.

“When we’d go for walks when she was a baby, we’d pick up trash. Then, when she started walking, she’d help pick up stuff,’’ Jamie said.

Recycling first became important to Jamie when she was in middle school.

“I used to have to drive recyclables to those big yellow bins and drop them off. It’s just gone from there, and it’s important for the kids to do, so when they grow up they respect what the earth has to offer. We recycle everything and have only one bag of garbage and fill four recycling bins every week,’’ she said.

Jamie hopes that when passersby see her and Emma picking up garbage, they’ll join in the effort.

“If everybody picked up one thing along the curb that wasn’t suppose to be there, that would make a difference,’’ she said.

After packing their bin and bag full, Emma and Jamie loaded them into the family minivan.

“I want to have a clean planet and make a difference so we have a pretty earth,’’ Emma said.

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