AUBURN — Exercise, family time and cleaning up — what could be better? Scott and Tammy Rodrigue have made a family tradition of Earth Day sprucing-up.

Tammy Rodrigue said she, Scott and their three sons, Kegan, 12, Reece, 14, and Brodyn, 5, as well as the boys’ hockey friends began around the Rodrigues’ Hotel Road neighborhood at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

From there, they moved on to Edward Little High School. Since her sons are also involved in track and field, the crew scoured the woods around the track.

“We’ve been doing this the past few years,” Rodrigue said, once with her church, cleaning up area parks and making them more presentable.

This year, their haul included tires, toys, bottles, stuffed animals, fishing poles and a tennis racket with a tree growing through it. “We found a lot of treasures,” Rodrigue said.

Among the stranger things recovered in Tuesday’s cleanup — a Pinocchio glass from Burger King and an office chair seat — just the seat.

Rodrigue said the crew filled 12 to 13 trash bags with items, including $6 worth of returnable bottles and cans.

Returnables were not the only cash to be found among the leaves. Rodrigue said Kegan found a $1 bill this year and a $20 Canadian bill last year. 

Rodrigue said she was struck by the number of plastic cups, Dunkin’ Donuts cups and plastic debris of all kinds littering the ground, and the more she picked up, the more she found.

“We could have spent three whole days doing it,” Rodrigue said, hoping outings like this will instill in her sons the idea that trash needs to be thrown away or recycled, not tossed in the streets.

Next year, Rodrigue said, she would like to get her sons’ hockey and track teams out for an even larger-scale cleanup.

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