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Turkey Ridge Trailhead’s Turtle Sculpture at Tappan Lake Park

August 30, 2023

If you have gone on a hike at Tappan Lake Park’s Turkey Ridge Trail this summer, you have probably seen this turtle.

It all started with a girl scout, Nicolette Ellis, working towards achieving “The Gold Award”, a prestigious award that makes a direct and lasting impact on the community. It is through this project she found an outlet to share her passion for keeping our planet clean, wildlife safe, and ecosystems intact. Here is a quote from her that should give you a better understanding of why this turtle is here, what it is made of, and why those materials were used.

“My project addresses littering and trash in nature and shows the importance of keeping our world clean. The turtle statue was made to represent the animals impacted by littering and to raise awareness of this serious problem. The statue was made from an old dog bowl, a frying pan, scrap sheet metal, a worn firepit, and metal cans. All of these items were found littered or about to enter a landfill. Accompanying the statue is a plaque explaining the dangers of littering and how it affects us. Additionally, litter sticks and bags are provided at the trailhead for hikers to pick up any litter they may see on the trail. This idea was formed to address a dangerous problem and show how objects labeled as ‘trash’ can still be useful, as well as raise awareness of proper trash disposal, such as recycling. The total duration of the project was 84 hours, and it was a fun and challenging experience!”

Inspiration can come from anyone.

To see the efforts of the youth making a positive impact on the community is truly inspiring. It is important that we too take a note from this girl’s book to make an effort to be/make the changes we want to see.

Thank you, Nicolette Ellis for being an inspiration!



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