Ringo the Duck Sparked Community to Organize a Chicago River Cleanup & Rally for Good by Tori Ulrich
Early in March 2019, a Chicago resident posted in a neighborhood Facebook group about seeing a duck in the Chicago River with a plastic six-ring can holder around its neck and head. Truly a heartbreaking sight. Neighborhood members, led by a superwoman named Tess, immediately checked it out and then spent a week trying to lure and gain trust with the duck (who was then named Ringo!) to try and save it.
The Facebook group was riveted by the story, various posts going up each day to check in and see what was happening, and even several local news stations and papers checked in. Unfortunately, Ringo wasn't cut free from the plastic before he disappeared from view, but his story has sparked something major – a neighborhood/riverbank cleanup effort sponsored by several local businesses, supplies donated by the Shedd Aquarium and numerous neighbors ready to pitch in.
A cleanup of the banks of the Chicago River at Montrose Avenue has officially been scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2019, and is gaining momentum with every passing minute! In less than a week this has changed from a small group of really great citizens, to a large neighborhood effort led by people that just decided to pool resources and do the right thing.
Being a good human and contributing to your planet doesn't need to be a huge to-do – it can be as simple as picking up some trash with your neighbors on a Saturday afternoon or with your kids on a walk around the block. Coming together as a community around something that benefits all of us – this is what the world, and especially our planet, needs more than ever.
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