PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Sunday morning, April 18, children were excited about trash.

Peoria Park District organizers gave volunteers equipment to pick up litter around the Proctor Recreation Center. The full location for the litter pickup event was about a 2-block radius from the center.

“A clean community makes you feel better about yourself,” said Jonelle McCloud, General Manager at the Proctor Recreation Center.

The first wave of volunteers were children, including Damond Gardner, Dwayne Gardner, Davon Stewart, and Chloe Clark. They were instructed by McCloud and other organizers to stay away from hazardous material, such as anything sharp.

They were also told to leave masks alone for adult volunteers to pick up.  

McCloud said she hopes the children learn to keep Peoria beautiful.

“This is an awesome opportunity, hopefully to teach the children while they’re still young to respect the community, respect not throwing litter out on the streets,” McCloud said. “We’re just happy to be a part of this, and hopefully we can instill positive things in our children.” 

Volunteers continued to come in waves throughout the morning. The event is just one of daily events the Peoria Park District has planned ahead of Earth Day, April 22.

“It’s gonna heal the world,” said Davon Stewart.