Alternative Spring Break: Redbird River Cleanup

Alternative Spring Break: Redbird River Cleanup


So this is my fourth trip now, this is my
third spring break. Right now we’re out here on the Mississippi River in
Grafton Illinois cleaning up some of the trash that ends up washing up on the
shores. We’ve been picking up trash from the Mississippi, hopping on boats with Living
Lands and Waters, and on this site we’re clearing honeysuckle either by pulling it
or cutting it and marking it because it’s an invasive species. you know is ISU has come I think three or
four times in large groups and you know they’re awesome.
You know, Midwest, reppin, BOOM. That’ll get edited out. that’s gonna be edited. And so we’re out
here working long hours picking up trash some of it very disgusting, but at the
same time we’re all having fun and the Living Lands and Waters staff, they’ve
been truly remarkable and uplifting us and keeping us pumped up to keep pushing
through. Living Lands crew here they’re super cool and they’ve been doing like
skits every morning and I guess today just cuz it’s the last day they wanted to hype us up, so they came in with the war paint and the drums and riding in or
like little toy horses and ponies and one person had a dragon. Spring breakers! I am the Coach! So my real name is Mike Coyne-Logan, and I got the nickname coach just from it started as
kind of a gag when one event we did, Chad says “pretend like to the volunteers your’re a coach and give like a motivational speech” and then it’s just become where I
have grown men at different companies that we work with saying “hey coach” and I don’t know their name. We all got really cool nicknames and
they’re hilarious. I have had like four, like one is burnt
marshmallow, slo-mo.. Slo-mo, fall in! Thank you! ..crouton, well Darryl stole a crouton off of my plate without asking. When I went in for a crouton, she was not having it. We started beefing, and so he started calling me crouton, so. The amount of positivity and the amount
of reflection that I’ve seen from our participants is really fantastic. I mean,
we wake up for breakfast at 8 o’clock every morning we’re out here doing hard
physical labor until about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and then in the evenings
we’re doing reflection and hanging out and play games, so it’s a lot of work and
not a lot of sleep. It sounds simple but it’s a lot of hard
work. What’s been nice about this is even in a week, the small time we’ve been
here we can visually receive that instant gratification of knowing how
much work we’ve done. So far this week, we’ve pulled out about ten thousand
pounds of trash and it’s only Wednesday, so that’s pretty awesome.
Eighteen million people get their daily drinking water for the river that these
kids from Illinois State were helping clean up. It’s always nice to be around
people who are so diverse but similar in their general concerns. Everybody that
came here from ISU or the other schools could have what a million other places
that would sensibly be more attractive, I would think, and what they do is they choose
to think bigger than themselves and they try to do something good, and that’s
that’s why they’re all here. Anyone can give up a week. You’re gonna have weeks
in the summer you know you’re gonna have weeks when you graduate college where
you can go and do a typical party stuff you know but if you put in a week and
you’re here when you get back home it’s gonna come with you you’re definitely
gonna be changed because alternative breaks is probably one of the best
experiences I had in college. I like I’m so glad I went on this trip I’ve met so
many great interesting new people so that’s the best part if you’re a college
student and you’re watching this and you see a problem or something’s always
bothered you you can do something about it you don’t
have to be the best student you know to be the smartest guy or girl for that
matter you just you gotta care and you just got to work really hard and you can
do it

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