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Fifth graders, Rotarians perform spring cleaning on Rotary Island

(Photo Courtesy/Mike Beiermeister) Fifth grader Micah Lowe holds up a piece of trash to show classmate Gunner Moe and Gus Wirgau.

Alpena, Mich. — Spring cleaning is in full effect even in the rain.

Members of the Alpena Rotary Club and 5th graders from Ella White Elementary School helped beautify Rotary Island on Wednesday. Rotarians planted new flowers, laid mulch, and spruced up the island park. fifth graders had a slightly different task. They collected trash around the island not only to keep the park clean but also gather valuable data during the clean up.

Students tallied the amount and types of trash for the organization, Alliance for the Great Lakes. These fifth graders were surprised at some of the items collected and also disappointed.

“Some of the stuff like the cigarette butts are everywhere, and I just think that is really bad for the environment,” said 5th grader Gus Wirgau.

“If the animals eat it, they could die, especially dogs,” said Allison Marie Zinke.

Rotarians were happy to have the 5th graders helping out. Rotary Island has many different uses including weddings, family reunions, graduation party celebrations, and much more. Keeping the park clean helps provide for a better experience for those who utilize the island.

“We’ve seen geese and their babies here, and we’ve been picking up trash that they my eat, and they might get hurt from that,” said Gunner Moe.

The Alpena Rotary Club has a few bigger projects planned for the park in the future.