10-yr.-old girl leads charge to pick up litter

Published 9:45 am Monday, April 19, 2010

Summer Rain Beightol really wanted to plant a tree this week. But since the 10-year-old and her family are currently living in a mobile home park, she’s not able to do that traditional Earth Day activity.

So she instead came up another idea. “I thought that if people could pick up all the litter on the ground for an hour, everything would get cleaned up and everything would grow faster, too,” she said.

Her mother, Glenda Erickson, liked the idea so much that she told her boss, Rachel Christensen at Ole’s Shell in Albert Lea. Christensen also liked the idea — so much that she decided to offer a free car wash at Ole’s to anyone who signs a pledge at the store to pick up litter anytime between now and Saturday.

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“I like the idea that people are the solution,” Christensen said.

Erickson wrote up a paragraph about her daughter’s desire to do something special on Earth Day and posted it in the store, saying she was looking for dedicated volunteers. At the end of the day Thursday, there were already 20 people signed up.

One man told Erickson he couldn’t do it this week, but went ahead and picked up for two hours last week instead.

Summer said riding between Twin Lakes and her school, Halverson Elementary in Albert Lea, she sees a lot of litter.

“I’m happy people are signing up,” Summer said.