By Jaime Vining
Saturday, September 19 is World Clean-Up Day, but eight-year-old Kayla and her younger brother Grayson got a head start this week at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.
Loxahatchee, which starts in Boynton Beach and extends to Parkland has been a favorite spot for the family since the family moved to Coral Springs in 2015.
“We have since visited the refuge almost every other day, sometimes twice a day,” said Kayla’s mom Danielle Turner, a South Florida photographer and former service member of the U.S. Coast Guard.
“When the pandemic started, people grew restless in their homes and ventured out to the refuge to get outdoors, but many left trash behind.”
Kayla, a third-grader at Country Hills Elementary, observed the litter and voiced her concerns to her mother. “She came up with the idea that she could sell her bracelets and use the profit to buy all of the supplies she needed for a trash cleanup,” she said proudly.
With some assistance from Danielle, the budding environmentalist got to work on her rainbow loom. “I posted on social media and shared with friends and family about her bracelets and her idea.”
Within just a couple of days, Kayla earned enough money to buy the trash cleanup supplies. “She was so excited and immediately asked to get to work,” Danielle exclaimed.
After about an hour at the Parkland location, the Turners collected over 25 pounds of garbage. “A woman drove by and complimented the kids for doing a good job. Kayla thanked her and told her she could do it too,” she laughed.
Unfortunately, litter is a continuous problem. “Hopefully, Kayla’s efforts are noticed, and others will follow in her footsteps,” said Danielle. “It is as simple as picking up after yourself, something that we are taught from when we are young.”
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Jaime Vining is a Florida native, but recent Parkland transplant. By day, she is a Florida Bar-certified Intellectual Property attorney, adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law and an avid blogger. Prior to earning her law degree, Jaime was a featured journalist for publications like the Orlando Sentinel and aXis Magazine. In 2009, she released a compilation of interviews with musicians under the title Off the Bus and On the Record.
Jaime is also a mom to two little boys and you will regularly find her running early mornings at Pine Trails Park trying to keep up with them.
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