The Woodard Cultural Alliance, the group that runs the Woodard Plaza in front of Crown Liquors, wants people to plog while they jog. Don’t know what that means? I didn’t know either until the Alliance brought it to my attention.
Plogging means to pick up trash while you jog around the neighborhood, in this case at Woodard plaza. The phrase originated in Sweden as a fitness movement. It’s a combination of the words jogging and plocka upp, “pick up” in Swedish. According to a 2018 Washington Post article, the craze began in Sweden and then spread to other European neighbors such as Germany, France, the UK. China, Austalia and Russia are among many countries to have grabbed this trend, and the U.S. is now catching on.
Plogging was one of the biggest fitness trends of 2018. Now, the WCA wants to bring the trend to Logan Square and its trashed-filled streets and gardens.
Lynn Basa, cofounder of the WCA and a devoted plogger, said she wants others to join the movement and help pick up trash in our community in a fun way. She wants the group to grow to where the ploggers are acknowledged and the action becomes part of intentional collective consciousness.
“I think that one of the reasons plogging has caught on is that when you’re doing it, you know you’re part of a larger, intentional collective effort,” Basa said. “Otherwise, you’re just out there grumbling resentfully to yourself about people who don’t pick up after themselves and why you’re the only one who does it.”
We all know about and see the blooming trash in the neighborhood, and while it can be debated whose responsibility is really is to pick it up, plogging—or picking up trash whenever you can, however you can—can create a sense of community and understanding, as well as set a lifestyle habit for our precious gardens, parks, streets and paths.
She and the WCA encourages ploggers to take the Woodard Plaza Plogger pledge and plocka upp trash the next time you’re at Woodard Plaza. While you’re at it, post a pic on Instagram at #woodardplaza to get credit and spread awareness of the cause. Get inspired by others on social media plogging away in their local communities.
Looking for more ways to get involved with the local alliance this summer? Check out other volunteer opportunities (which includes free beer from Crown Liquors!) and ways to support local art and activism.