RICHMOND, Va. — Stephanie Lee, a recent VCU graduate, told reporters that she refuses to trash Belle Isle with anything other than recyclable material.
She explained that she’s lived in Richmond her entire life and has been coming to Belle Isle regularly since childhood. For years, she’s observed hundreds of pieces of trash littering the area’s landscape and waterways, including fast food wrappers, chip bags, and styrofoam coffee cups.
“It just broke my heart knowing how much this garbage was harming our city’s environment. I made a promise to myself years ago that I would never be one of those people and would only ever leave recyclables in and around the river.”
Chuck Widener, a Richmond City Parks and Recreation official, commended Lee’s noble efforts to support the environment. “This resident brings me a lot of hope for the future of Richmond’s ecological landscape,” Widener stated. “We’re certainly facing a severe pollution crisis and every little step counts as we work toward a cleaner city.”
Lee explained that, whether coming to Belle Isle with friends or to find personal solitude, she brings beer bottles, snack containers, and rolling papers that are 100% recyclable before disposing of them in the water or surrounding foliage. “I’m not trying to earn a medal or get special recognition,” Lee said. “I’m just trying to decrease my carbon footprint on this earth.”
At press time, Lee was seen sitting on the rocks, feeding pieces of a cardboard pizza box to the fish.