Edie Bridge, Grade 5
Miss Alexander, Teacher / Galvin Middle School, Wakefield
"I’d Rather See a Hawk"
Whenever I am out walking and glance down at a storm drain I see trash, like tissues, cigarettes, plastic coffee lids, candy wrappers and chewed-up pencils. I also know that some people put car oil into storm drains and that lawn fertilizer, antifreeze and road salt can run into drains. I know all this garbage is not supposed to be in storm drains, but if I saw a neighbor putting something like trash in a storm drain, I would feel funny saying anything because I am just a kid. However, if I could say something, I would explain how storm drains work in my area of Wakefield.
Most storm drains should lead to a river, lake or other wet area. Near my house they lead to a place called Strong’s Meadow, which is really a swamp or wetland area. Anything thrown down a storm drain will end up, eventually, in Strong’s Meadow. Maybe a few candy wrappers or antifreeze in a swamp doesn’t seem so bad, but a little trash from lots of people ends up being a lot of trash in the wetlands.
Chemicals and garbage in wetlands areas can have bad results. Animals like frogs, salamanders and birds are harmed. Chemicals can poison them. Even lawn fertilizer can cause algae blooms, which use up oxygen in the water, killing fish and other wildlife. Styrofoam cups and often garbage can get stuck on animals’ heads, feet or wings, getting in their way when they try to eat. Trash also can clog up the storm drains and cause flooding, spreading trash and polluting water. Eventually our drinking water can be polluted, and having garbage spread around does not seem like something any of us would want.
We have wildlife around our neighborhood. For example, besides song birds and squirrels, we’ve seen two red-tailed hawks flying around. One even landed in our backyard and scared our dog, Chloe! The hawk was only hunting mice, though. It left one behind. We think the hawks might be nesting in Strong’s Meadow, or they might be hunting there.
I would miss having wildlife around. I like seeing cardinals, chickadees, blue jays and other birds. I like to hear the red-winged black birds migrate through my area, telling me spring is on its way. I even liked seeing the red-tailed hawk.
Trash and chemicals in storm drains is just a bad idea and a lazy thing to do. I would rather dispose of garbage and chemicals the right way. I don’t want to have to buy my drinking water or see floating garbage after rainstorms. I would like to see the red-tailed hawk again someday.
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