Service, Education, and Social Distancing

(Carver County Water Management Organization Water Column)

(Photo courtesy of Clean Water Minnesota)

Neighborhood clean-ups are a great outside activity that require very few materials, make your community safe and beautiful, teach young ones about service, provide exercise, and educate all about water pollution.

This is a great time of year to do a clean-up. As the snow melts you will likely notice trash around streets and boulevards that has built up over the winter. Cleaning up this trash will keep it from washing into lakes, rivers and ponds with the spring rains.

No need for large groups. Take a stroll by yourself or grab your kids, walk the neighborhood and pick up trash along your way. Once you start looking, you’ll see bits and pieces everywhere.

If you have kids, make it a learning experience. Below is list of steps to turn a cleanup into a great homeschool activity.

Water pollution prevention lesson plan:

1. Watch Freddy the fish tell you about water pollution. On YouTube search for “Freddy the fish stormwater” or visit

2. Get ready for a clean up walk. You’ll need gloves and trash bags. Work or garden gloves with intact finger tips work great. Seeing as how disposable gloves are in short supply, you can use plastic bag from bread. Bread bags are air tight and tougher than regular plastic grocery bags.

3. Go on a walk. Look for storm drains. Ask your kids where they think the storm drains drain to? Where does all the water go? Pick up trash along the way.

4. Reflect on the experience.

Once home and washed up ask your kids to wrap up the activity with a quick conversation.

a. What is something you found on our walk?

b. How did seeing trash on the ground make you feel?

c. What can people do to keep trash off the ground and out of our lakes and rivers?

d. What are ways our family is committed to keeping our neighborhood clean?

5. Be creative! Have the kids write a journal entry about the experience, draw a picture, create a video, retell what they learned to other family and friends through video chats.