Healthy Communities of Clinton County partnered with Joel Tatum (Frankfort Parks Department), Suncrest Elementary School, Youth RISE! Youth Leadership Council, and other community volunteers to do a cigarette butt clean up at Circle Park and TPA Park on March 16. We had over 300 flags to flag where the cigarette butts were picked up in order to get a better picture and understanding to share with others. We ran out of flags in three minutes working with the Suncrest 5th graders at Circle Park!
It takes up to 10 years for a cigarette butt to decompose. Cigarette butts are listed as the number one litter problem worldwide with over a billion pounds of cigarette butts littered every year. This poses a danger to our environment by getting into our water supply and birds and other animals trying to consume cigarette butts, mistaking them for food. 100 cigarette butts contain enough nicotine and tar to kill an adult.
All of these clean ups are in an effort to clean up our parks, but also to show how our kids are being exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke, even as they play outside. Healthy Communities will continue to partner with Suncrest, Youth RISE! Youth Leadership Council, and others to present to our Parks Department and our local policy makers in our findings and how to help protect the young lungs at play!
A special thank you to Joel Tatum of the Frankfort Parks Department for allowing us to do this project and all of those who volunteered!