On April 24, volunteers gathered at three Evanston beaches for a beach-clean up. Alliance for the Great Lakes, an organization working to keep the Great Lakes clean, organized the event in a program called Adopt-a-Beach. 

The clean-ups, which began at 10 a.m. and ended around noon, took place at South Boulevard Beach, Lee Street Beach, and Clark Street Beach. Each beach attracted around 30 volunteers. 

Organizers passed out gloves and paper bags for collecting trash. Volunteers also carried clipboards and were asked to note the materials of the trash they found.

Volunteer Dylan Bardgett said the most common substance she found was Styrofoam, since it crumbles and leaves little pieces scattered throughout the beach. 

Volunteer Kathy Roller and her high-school age son searched Lee Street beach for trash. It was her first time at an Adopt-a-Beach clean-up and a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours for her son, said Ms. Roller. 

Ted Glasoe, team leader of the Lee Street beach clean-up, has been leading Adopt-a-Beach clean-ups for five years, he said. The Great Lakes are a drinking source for many people, and keeping the lakes clean is important to him. 

“There was a study that showed 20 million pounds of plastic get dumped in the Great Lakes every year,” said Mr. Glasoe. “It’s important to try and keep as much out of the lake as we can.” 

Also on April 24, the Lighthouse Rotary Club  organized a cleanup of Lighthouse Beach, and the Main-Dempster Mile held a cleanup in the business district.

Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...