MASON CITY, Iowa - It was a gorgeous Saturday morning for the 26th annual Mason City Earth Day Festival at the Lime Creek Nature Center.
And the weather was one of the reasons why Jeremy Woodland and his family were in attendance at the festival.
"It's beautiful out, there's a lot of things for the kids to learn about. We're looking forward to getting a couple of trees to plant on our property when we get home to prevent the banks from eroding."
Keeping the Earth clean is something the Woodlands hold with high importance, and they're teaching their 4-year old son about it at a young age.
"We started with our son the moment he was born. Teaching him about picking up litter and not littering, and trash that can be around. He picks some up when we don't want him to, but that's OK. Picking up pieces of gum and things like that."
When they're out hiking the trails at Lime Creek, they take a backpack, and can find an endless amount of trash.
"We've found coolers abandoned out there that still have remnants of people's lunches in it, lots of beer cans, water bottles, trash from beer boxes."
At this year's festival was the 'Watershed Game' from Water Rocks program based at Iowa State University. It represents how pollutants like animal waste and oil can flow into water sources like streams or lakes. Ann Staudt is with Water Rocks, and says the game can show a very real representation of something that can start out small, but grow to a potentially much bigger issue.
"It's going to take all of us working together - seemingly small actions - but if all of us are doing our part, we can help to cut down, as well as doing some strategic placement of practices, like wetlands, bioreactors are a newer practice as well."
While there have been many strides made to improve humanity's footprint on Earth, Woodland believes there is still work to be done.
"We're still way behind. There is definitely a lot more work to do."
Clear Lake is set to begin their Earth Days celebration on Monday, and will be capped off with OutdoorFest at City Park on Saturday.