Most kids love a party and six year old Arizona is no different.
No, it isn’t her birthday and there won’t be bouncy castles, but when she was offered a wildlife education function to reward her for a dogged effort to clean up the rubbish in our parks and on the roadways, she wanted to share it with the whole community.
Our little eco-warrior had taken it upon herself to get the gloves on and pick up bags of it and wouldn’t let up on mum and dad until they let her do it.
As we know, six year olds can have a grand plan one minute and move onto something else the next, but not Arizona.
When her family moved to Kinglake two years ago and she started at Middle Kinglake Primary School, learning about the environment struck a particular cord. Arizona was also glued to the ABC’s ‘War on Waste’ series. Driving home with mum, Tara, she decided there was just too much rubbish around and she wouldn’t let up about it.
Observation is one thing, but action is quite another. Arizona wanted to get out and pick it up. When gale force winds toppled the rubbish bins in her street, she would go out and remove it all. Needless to say, mum and dad were making a few trips to the rubbish transfer station and their own bins were bursting.
Arizona wanted to expand her efforts. The opportunity arose when she headed off on her favourite leisure activity - ‘walks in the forest with dad’ - where he could supervise and let her pursue her worthy goal safely.
She organised the bags for their clean up. Dad ended up hooking the trailer onto the car for not only the full bags that resulted, but also the thrown out car parts and other items.
Her impressive efforts came to the attention of the business, Heath’s Snake Control, and they offered Arizona a free wildlife party to acknowledge what she had done. Her love of native wildlife is as strong as her distaste for rubbish dumpers.
She was up for the party, but wanted to invite everybody - all the other kids and their parents. Her idea was that they could help her clean up the environment and have a load of kid fun while they were doing it.
This six year old’s plan was getting bigger than a backyard afternoon and a few friends patting some lizards and snakes. Our Kinglake Landcare group and Parks Victoria swing into action and came up with the Wallaby Springs Reserve, on the Whittlesea-Yea Road, at Kinglake West.
Landcare has regular clean up days in our parks and reserves, so they took care of the public liability issues and decided a free barbecue would be in order and have organised that as well.
There will also be displays of rocks painted with environmental messages for the kids to take home, displays of eco-friendly products, Heath’s wildlife show and there will be plenty of supervision as they set about cleaning up the reserve.
It kicks off at 10am on Sunday 7 October.
Bring as many friends, family members and kids as you like, or you can jump in and volunteer to help Arizona make a difference.
To volunteer or for further enquiries, call Tara on 0402 356 443.