KC Plogtober: An outdoor day of service that mixes cleaning with exercise

Join us for this year's Plogging event.

The Kansas City Plogtober Cleanup is a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise while engaging in a socially responsible activity that beautifies the streamside trails in your community.

The pandemic has taxed our wastewater systems and polluted our streams with unflushable tissues, wipes, gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment.

If that wasn’t enough, hundreds of thousands of the over 129 billion masks that studies estimate to be in use per month during the pandemic have been discarded improperly, littering trails and sidewalks and washing out into waterways, where they pose a threat to marine life and other vital organisms.

In response to this uptick in hazardous litter, the Mid-America Regional Council’s Water Quality Public Education program is planning a day of service on Sunday, Oct. 17 — utilizing the recent Swedish trend of “plogging,” or picking up litter (plocka upp) while jogging!

Get your friends, family and co-workers together and earn points for your county for the title of Kansas City’s Top Ploggers! Entry is free and you can register as an individual or a team, and represent either your home county or that of your office. Volunteers will jog one of the 14 metro-wide courses plotted out at kcplogtober.com, grabbing up every small piece of litter they find using rubber gloves, a small plastic shopping bag and a grabber (optional).

Many hands make light work, and we want the pace to remain quick and casual — to see the difference made when we all decide to pick up the trash on our trails instead of running or biking past it.

Be sure to sign up for your trail of choice at kcplogtober.com, so we can track how many volunteers will be out helping that day. You may start whenever you choose, and all volunteers are encouraged to go at their own pace.