Nature has a friend in 5-year-old boy

Wade Battershell has taken the initiative to collect trash from Cahoon Creek while on walks with his granddad. Photo by Phil Battershell

Wade is the son of Jeff and Jenny Battershell. Wade is also the grandson of Jill and Phil Battershell, residents of Bay Village for over 40 years. Fortunate to live on Porter Creek for over 30 of those years, Jill and Phil recently moved to the Bay Creek Development along Cahoon Creek. This is where this story begins.

Wade is soon to be 6 years old. He is an avid outdoors young man. Wade enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, boating, biking, swimming and literally any activity that takes him outside. He is also in the Cub Scouts and enjoys playing soccer. 

Since Wade could walk, he enjoyed his “creek walks” with his family at his grandparents' home along Porter Creek. At age 4, he had the change of scenery to Cahoon Creek where upon his first hike with his granddad in December 2021, he realized and remarked that there was a fair amount of trash behind their home and along the creek. 

With this observation, Wade suggested to his granddad that they should begin picking up and removing the trash they find.

Since then Wade has made no less than five trips to the Cahoon Creek with his granddad and carried through with his commitment to not only keep the woods clean of trash and debris, but also along the creek and in the creek. To date he has hiked up to the waterfalls which are quite close to the new bridge being built across Cahoon Creek just north of Wolf Road.

Wade has an excellent understanding of the impact this type of work has on the environment. He not only is beautifying the community’s natural resource of the woods and water, but is also making a significant impact on helping to not pollute the run off to Lake Erie. Because Wade is a hiker, he is able to also climb up the sides of the hills along the creek of which most are comprised of loose shale rock and has no problem navigating these sometimes difficult climbs in search of retrieving additional litter.

Wade continues to collect paper, plastic, Styrofoam packing material, ceramic plates (one of which was fully intact and not broken) glass bottles, broken glass, plastic bags, rebar, toys, ink pens, construction material, the grill off of an old refrigeration unit, plastic bottles, clothing, and part of a red plastic bumper to a car that he cannot dislodge and will need help retrieving.  His most recent collection was on Christmas where he filled six bags of material of which all of it was recyclable.

Wade’s parents encourage him all the time to enjoy being in the out of doors. They too are avid in their love for doing what Wade is learning to do. His dad has a degree in Environmental Policy and Analysis and there is a history of Eagle Scouts in his family. Suffice to say, this is a lifelong passion he is learning.

Lastly, the other goal Wade has is to encourage others, young and old alike, to take time to help preserve the gifts we have from the natural beauty that surrounds us in northern Ohio and beyond. Just imagine if we had a lot of likeminded Wades volunteering to keep our communities clean, what a significant impact we could make. Besides, the best part actually is the untold hours hiking and talking between a grandson and his granddad.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.17.2023