Tackling Trash: Highlights from CPAWS’ 2023 Student Litter Cleanup Challenge

August 22, 2023

How students are shaping a greener tomorrow by picking up litter in their schoolyards

Hundreds of students learned about the environmental impacts of litter and the value of public service through the spring 2023 CPAWS Manitoba Student Litter Cleanup Challenge. 

“It is very important to clean up litter in our community because litter is and could be harmful to all wildlife. It also doesn’t make our community look very nice. What we can do to reduce litter is be careful to not miss trash cans or reuse and compost,” Olivia, age 10, said after the cleanup.

A total of 358 students from 12 classrooms, after-school programs, and student groups in Winnipeg participated in the Litter Cleanup Challenge. 

After watching a video lesson by CPAWS Manitoba Environmental Educator Avery Kash, the students picked up litter around their schoolyard, the surrounding area, community centres, and nearby parks. Some students were surprised at how every little thing adds up when it comes to litter, and can harm the animals who encounter it.

“I like cleaning up garbage because I don’t want animals to get sick or die,” said a Grade 1 student.

“We need to do our share by cleaning the Earth. It has provided us with everything from food to shelter. So our class went around the block and got a lot of garbage! 6 bags total! We need to save the Earth so we need to do what we can,” another student from a Grade 5/6 class said.

A big congratulations goes out to a Grade 2 social studies class at École Victoria-Albert School, Grade 1/2 at Linden Meadows School, and a Grade 4 Eco-Justice Club at Ecole Salisbury Morse Place School. They were each randomly selected to win a classroom doughnut party from Oh Doughnuts. 

We want to send a big thank you to the educators who inspired their students to participate in our Litter Cleanup Challenge. Together, we can make a difference!

The Importance of Picking Up Litter

Students and teachers shared thoughts about their experience with the litter cleanup. Here’s what they had to say.

  • “”We saw cigarettes, gum, cans, food labels, plastic and even more! All of these things could harm the environment. It is important that we keep the environment safe and clean.” – Petyr, age 10.
  • “Students were amazed and outraged that people would litter. They noticed that there was less litter in the park than along roadways and used their reasoning skills to come up with theories as to why this might be.” -Educator, École Provencher.
  • “I feel proud that we did this.” -Monroe
  • “I feel like a superhero.” -Clara
  • “I feel trashtastic.” -Jessica
  • “It is bad for the polar bears if we litter.” -Lianne, grade 1.
  • “Don’t litter, it makes it hard for trees to grow.” -Nixon, grade 1.
  • “Plastic is everywhere! We should learn how to throw our garbage properly or animals could end up eating them and getting sick.” – Esther, Grade 2

Thanks again to these great educators!

  • Avery Kash, Dawson Trail School
  • Suzanne Simpson, Ecole Provencher
  • Amanda Lake, Ecole Sage Creek
  • Kim Bryson, Linden Meadows
  • Susan Gudmundson, Southwood School
  • Amanda Tetrault, Ecole River Heights
  • Kendra Howard, Ecole Luxton
  • Kim Bryson & Lori Cech-Manec, Linden Meadows School
  • Kim Bryson & Janice Mantler, Linden Meadows School
  • Alixe Kirouac-Picton, École Sage Creek
  • Brittany Fraser, Ecole Salisbury Morse Place
  • Mary Grace Gunio, École Victoria-Albert

Stay tuned for our next Classroom Litter Cleanup Challenge in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024!

Help Keep Manitoba Wild


CPAWS Manitoba has helped establish 23 parks and protected areas thanks to people like you.

With your help, we can protect half our lands and waters for future generations of people and wildlife.