Jogging for trash, Naragote sister project & an environmental film series

(Courtesy Maritime Aquarium)

Updated, 2:37 p.m., Sept. 12: Plogging registration information made current.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk doings for your consideration:

  • A 5K “plogging” event
  • Naragote Day
  • Library film series

Maritime Aquarium to host inaugural 5K ‘Trash Dash’

First there was jogging. Then blogging. And vlogging. Now, get ready for “plogging.”

Plogging, a combination of jogging and picking up litter, started as an organized activity in Sweden around 2016 because of growing concerns about litter and marine debris and has since spread to other countries. Stamford-based Keep America Beautiful® and its more than 600 community-based affiliates are leading this trend in the United States by conducting plogs to make their communities cleaner, safer, healthier and more beautiful.

On Sept. 15, the Maritime Aquarium, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful®, will host the inaugural Keep America Beautiful Trash Dash™ 5K plogging event.

The two organizations are partnering in advance of World Cleanup Day and the International Coastal Cleanup (both on Sept. 21) to prevent litter from entering Long Island Sound by conducting Connecticut’s first major “plog” through the streets of Norwalk.

“Every piece of litter that participants pick up during the Trash Dash reduces the amount of litter that potentially could enter Long Island Sound and helps us transform Norwalk’s public spaces into beautiful places,” said Keep America Beautiful President & CEO Helen Lowman.

At the Trash Dash, each plogger will receive a plastic garbage bag, gloves and a litter picker to pick up the trash, as well as an official race t-shirt and numbered bib. At water stops along the route, ploggers can exchange filled garbage bags for new bags. At the end of the 5K, each plogger’s trash and recyclables will be weighed, separated and sorted for proper processing. Prizes will be given for top fundraiser, top fundraising team and most trash collected.

“This fun plogging event benefits both the health of the Sound and the health of the ploggers,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “Whether you walk or run the 5K, whether you fill one trash bag or 10, you and the environment both come out winners.”

Ploggers are invited to register now as individuals or to form Trash Dash teams to help raise funds for Keep America Beautiful. Individual adult registration is $30. Registration for children 14 and under is free.


Time to honor the Norwalk/ Nagarote Sister City Project

If you’re headed to City Hall on Friday, expect to learn something about Norwalk’s Nicaraguan sister city, Nagarote. It’s Nagarote Day in Norwalk and members of the Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project plan to greet you at the door and hand you literature about the project.

“The Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project is celebrating 33 years of collaboration between the two cities,” a press release said. “It strives to break the cycle of poverty in Nagarote through education, providing school scholarships for children and adolescents living in poverty from first grade through college. It also provides tutoring to students at risk of failing, focusing on Spanish language arts and mathematics.  It runs an afterschool program at its Community Center in downtown Nagarote and it rents space in another barrio of Nagarote, San Martin.”

Nagarote children receive after-school classes such as art, music, computers, dance, tailoring, sewing, hairstyling, sports and other topics, through the project. There’s also a model organic farm and tree nursery, and a model preschool is expected to open soon.

“My wife and I have been involved in the Project for over 10 years now and we have seen the dramatic changes is the barrios in which we have been working,” John Woyke, the volunteer executive director of the project, is quoted as saying. “We are now providing elementary and high school scholarships to 70 students and are providing college scholarships for about 20 more. Many of the parents of the young people in college never had the opportunity for education beyond sixth grade.”

The Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project is an independent 501(c)(3) qualified charity, funded exclusively through donations. It receives no government funding.



‘Living Wisely and Well on Planet Earth’

An environment-focused Norwalk Public Library film series begins Friday with the family-friendly film “A Beautiful Earth,” an IMAX collaboration with NASA filmed on the International Space Station whose astronauts share their reverence for the awesome beauty of the earth, in addition to their concerns about challenges and threats to those resources.

The series is titled “Living Wisely and Well on Planet Earth” and will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 20, and Oct. 4 and 11. A press release explains:

“Each of the four film nights feature different themes prepared for the library by Norwalk residents Audrey Cozzarin and Diane Lauricella, with short thought-provoking presentations by guest speakers on the historic and future relationships that will help predict what kind of world we will inherit.  Attendees will come away from each Friday night with several action steps and resources to help become a better steward and preserve our future.

“Door prizes, popcorn, and helpful tips and resources are part of each evening. Encouraged as ‘date nights,’ the film series is suitable for families, with Wall Street area restaurants available nearby the library for a dinner out. Film Trailers for related films will be shown each evening as well as a video clip of teen climate activist Greta Thunberg in celebration of the Worldwide and CT Student Climate Strike on September 20 and in preparation for Greta’s address at the UN Climate Summit September 23.”


The themes:

  • Sept. 13: “A Beautiful Planet,” film series launch which will end with action steps for the home and work.
  • Sept. 20: “A Sustainable Lifestyle:” Exploration of stewardship from reducing waste streams and saving water to saving energy.
  • Oct. 4: “The New American Lawn:” Practical steps to save money and environment while maintaining outdoor landscapes.
  • Oct. 11: “The Future of Eating:” Explore role that food choices have on our health and planet.

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