Volunteers clean park, join club members for day of birding


Madison College volunteers spent time on April 21 cleaning up Warner Park as part of a Volunteer Center Earth Day activity. (Paige Shapiro / Clarion)

Paige Shapiro, Staff Writer

On April 21, Madison College’s Volunteer Center celebrated Earth Day by cleaning up Warner Park in Madison. For three hours in the cold and rain, volunteers helped clean up trash in the park, as well as enjoy some birdwatching, provided by the BIPOC Birding Club.
There were around 15 people who assisted in the cleanup, some being in a group of two or three and some venturing out solo. The volunteers used extended grabbers that worked like lobster claws, a large bucket and some trash bags and scoured all over the vast park to pick up litter.
Earth Day, a day demonstrating support for environmental protection, has made many people support and want to help keep the Earth clean. For Madison College, many of the volunteers were excited to participate in the Earth Day event. One student, Paige Rule said, “It felt really nice to help pick up litter and to help out the Earth.”
After the cleanup, the BIPOC Birding Club provided an opportunity to show the volunteers the wonders of birdwatching. With binoculars around their necks, they traveled into the walking path of the woods. The group stared up into the trees with their mouths wide open, squinting into the binoculars, searching for something to pop out or to make a chirp. Eventually, they saw a range of birds from a horned owl to a multitude of red-winged blackbirds and robins, as well as a bald eagle sitting in her nest.
“I really like birds; the birdwatching was really enjoyable for me,” Savannah Rule said, one of the cleanup volunteers.
Overall, the volunteers who participated said they felt very fulfilled by the end of the day. Picking up litter and getting the chance to see birds up close flying by was a new opportunity for most.
By cleaning up the Earth for just one day and venturing out into nature, the event gave the volunteers a different perspective and made them care about the environment a little more.