Middle School Student Started a Plogging Group

December 12, 2020

My name is Joaquin Contreras Rushing, I go to Silver Spring International Middle School. When I was biking on Sligo Creek, I saw signs for the #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge. My family and I usually join the Creek Clean-up but that’s only twice per year so I wanted to do something more often to help keep our neighborhood clean and keep trash out of the waterways. The PLOG program is run by Larissa Johnson of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection so we reached out to her to see how we can help.

What the PLOG is Plogging? 

In celebration of Storm Water Awareness Week, October 18-24, 2020, Montgomery Energy Connection launched the #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge in partnership with the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration, a program of Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

Plogging is a wacky way of saying “pick up litter while you jog or walk”. Plogging was invented by Swedish outdoorsman and environmentalist Erik Ahlström. The phrase plogging comes from plocka, the Swedish word for pick up. Plogging is an eco-friendly exercise that involves picking up trash while jogging or walking as a way to clean up litter while also taking care of your health.

Did you know? Trash and contaminants that flow from storm drains into our local streams eventually flow into rivers including the Potomac, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay.  All of the stuff that is left on the street ends up in our local streams, this harms the ecosystem. In the spring and summer, my friends and I love going to the creek to see the fish, if trash is clogging the creeks, the fish will disappear.

Since we are at home doing remote learning, I miss walking to school with my friends. I thought it would be fun to get a group of kids from my neighborhood together to start a Plogging group. On Wednesdays, MCPS does not have remote classes so that’s when we meet to Plog the creeks. We get our “Together MoCo” masks, trash picker uppers, and bags and head out to safely clean up the creeks, recycle what we can and see friends!

I hope this inspires other MCPS students to use their Wednesdays to Plog in their neighborhood!!

4 comments on "Middle School Student Started a Plogging Group"

  1. MaryJo Cosgrove says:

    I have been ‘Plogging’ since I was a kid. It only makes sense. Now as I am outside I find a lot of items that fell out of the recycling truck. There should be a better way to handle the recyclables and make sure when they are collected they stay put in the truck. I truly believe having the collectibles put into an overhead bin on the truck will minimize this unnecessary splatter of recyclables. Until that time, I will keep ‘Plogging ‘ along wherever I go.

    1. Cat Lee says:

      Hi, thank you for your feedback on the collection of recyclables. We are always looking into ways we can improve our services–I have passed your feedback to my collections manager. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  2. Craig Kullmann says:

    What amazing group of kids! This group has inspired me to PLOG during my morning walks. Thank for you writing this story Joaquin!

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Such great news! Best of luck plogging Craig!! Don’t forget to take @MCEnergyConnection by using the hashtag #MontgomeryPlogs when you are out there cleaning up your neighborhood!

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