OPA Helps Youngster Keep Okoboji's Public Beaches Clean

Congratulations are in order for a young Okoboji elementary student and the OPA! Sawyer Miller, a third grader at Okoboji Elementary, wanted to make a difference on Okoboji's public beaches and came to the OPA board for its help. He came to a board meeting in late April to make his request.

As part of the Talented and Gifted program at his school, his teacher, Mrs. Sackett, was working with each of her students on solving a real world problem. Sawyer’s huge general problem was pollution, and he had narrowed it down to pollution on our own beaches: specifically trash.

His solution to the problem was the beach cleanup box project that he had worked on for several months. The first box, which he brought to the board meeting, would be placed at the beach by the bridge between East and West Okoboji.  Inside the box, Sawyer had built a top compartment for placing plastic gloves, while the larger compartment was built for biodegradable trash bags…and that’s why Sawyer was there. He was hoping the board would provide the financial support for the gloves and trash bags.

He felt $210 would be enough for up to three boxes that he planned to eventually build. A board member responded, “How about $300?” This would give Sawyer some extra funding in case he had the time to build another box! 

The smile on Sawyer's face said it all! With the help of the OPA board, his project would become reality.

We can all do our part

Sawyer’s belief in his project and that this can make a difference should be an inspiration to all of us. It’s an example that each of us can make a difference in the way we take care of our environment.

Thanks, Sawyer, for reminding us all that we owe it to ourselves and all of those around us to step up to the plate. After all, it’s the only environment that we will ever get!

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