Logan Byers is a 10-year-old boy who was hit one day with a question that too many adults fail to ask themselves when they see a problem: “What can I do about this?”
It was litter that motivated him while playing outside one day last year.
“Every time I go out to play with my friends or my dog, I see all this litter on the street,” he said, referring to Zephyr Street in Sheraden. “It makes me have a dirty, stinking kind of feeling.”
His first idea was to alert the police. His letter was answered by Scott Schubert, the commander of Zone 6, who thanked him for his attitude and validated his concerns. At a community event last year, Councilwoman Theresa Smith suggested a meeting with the city’s anti-litter coordinator, Missy Rosenfeld, who helped Logan adopt his street as a Redd-Up Zone.
Yesterday, Logan and eight other volunteers, some of them fellow Cub Scouts, inaugurated Zephyr Street as a Redd-Up Zone by spending part of the afternoon filling seven large garbage bags with litter.
Logan and his “Litter League” will do litter sweeps on Zephyr four times a year with supplies of bags, gloves and other tools from the city. But Logan said he would probably organize more frequent clean-ups in between.
He also wrote a proposal to the principal at his school, Carmalt Academy in Brookline, to broaden his Litter League and adopt a Redd-Up Zone near the school. He has a power point presentation ready to show his fellow students in May and has already shown it to his Cub Scouts group on his way to earning a naturalist badge and a World Conservation award. He will present his Litter League information at an upcoming Kiwanis safety fair, said his mother, Barbara.
“It has been impressive to see him run with this,” she said.
“Kids at school, when I tell them about this stuff, don’t give much of a reaction,” Logan said. “Some kids beyond don’t care.”
Logan wore a suit and tie to City Council chambers one day recently, where he was presented as an exemplar of human behavior and started to get a little overwhelmed, he said.
“All I wanted was to get help cleaning my street,” he said.
But as many community advocates know, doing good has a tendency to start the ignition on doing more good.
“Logan,” his mother said to him, “You saw a problem, it bothered you and you took action.”
Photo courtesy of Paul Byers