Kids lead the charge during Cedar Rapids neighborhood cleanup

Published: May. 11, 2019 at 7:15 PM CDT
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While Saturday’s rain might’ve kept some people indoors in Cedar Rapids, it couldn’t stop a group of several volunteers from bettering their neighborhood.

The Oak Hill Jackson neighborhood held a cleanup event this weekend as part of an overall effort sponsored by the City of Cedar Rapids to get the entire city clean.

Previous spring cleans were held in the Northwest, Wellington Heights and Taylor Area neighborhoods, but on Saturday, about half the volunteers were kids.

Dressed in their rain boots, sneakers and hoodies, the rain didn’t slow them down.

"It's just like a little sprinkle,” 10-year-old Donnie Schutzman said.

Schutzman was joined by 9-year-old Maliah Richards, 11-year-old Bailey Miles, and 9-year-old Calynne Munn, all of whom live on the same street in the Oak Hill area.

Trekking all throughout the neighborhood, the kids — and their adult chaperones — picked up several bags full of litter, including a pair of slippers, Easter eggs and a face mask.

“We felt like Santa Claus,” Richards said of the bags’ weights.

Going through their neighborhood made the kids realize how much litter they hadn’t seen before, they said.

"It's really polluted, and it's just kind of dirty,” Miles said.

But it’s not just their neighborhood that could use some tidying up, according to Richards.

"The world is not that clean,” she said. “It's pretty dirty."

The volunteers got a jump start on cleaning it up Saturday, and the kids said they hope other people will do the same.

"If they pick up themselves, then we don't have to do it every day and pick up other people's stuff,” Schutzman said.

"Don't litter a lot,” Munn added. “Just keep the world nice."

Other Cedar Rapids neighborhood cleanups are scheduled soon, with one in Kenwood Park on May 19 and the next in the Westdale area on June 22.