Change in season provides opportunity to enhance environment


Volunteers at last year’s Fall Beautification Day trim the plants along the side of the visitors center at Knob Noster State Park. (Photo courtesy of The Wildlife Society)

Written by Aneliese Peeler

Fall Beautification Day is an opportunity for guests at Knob Noster State Park to help clean up their environment.
University of Central Missouri’s chapter of The Wildlife Society will be participating in the event.
During Fall Beautification Day, volunteers can remove invasive species, pull weeds, clean up the trails, pick up trash, and clean streams.
Marissa Ginger, senior biology major and reporter of the Wildlife Society, said they had a good turnout last year.
“A lot of the people were UCM affiliated but also it was a public outreach event, so it was really heavily involved with the community,” Ginger said.
Ginger said the park is a gold standard “Leave No Trace” park, which is a program that encourages park guests to pick up after themselves.
“People visit state parks to get enjoyment out of nature,” Ginger said. “It’s so much better knowing that we’re actually helping to keep that standard up.”
Karlee Szympruch, junior biology major and current president of the Wildlife Society, said she wants the participants to realize the impact of leaving trash.
“It’s really important to keep places where we go out and enjoy nature clean and safe for everyone to be in, especially the wildlife there,” Syzmpruch said.
Szympruch said students and faculty can learn how big of an impact their trash makes by volunteering for this event.
Fall Beautification Day is from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Oct. 5 at Knob Noster State Park. Participants will meet at the visitors center.
“Hopefully the end result shows people that even if it’s one wrapper that you throw on the ground or one cup you miss the garbage can with, it adds up in the end and makes a significant difference,” Szympruch said.