LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – Pokémon GO took the world by storm and it's inspiring one Lawton woman to clean up the community, one trash bag at a time.
Chelsea Turner says she loves the game and recently incorporated picking up trash into her gaming routine. She says she was inspired after seeing litter across in Elmer Thomas Park while walking to her next Pokéstop, which is an in-game location the reflects real world monuments and places of interest. Since then, she's been packing a few extra trash bags for other gamers in hopes of getting all the litter in the park cleaned up.
Turner says in a single day, she managed to fill two trash bags with trash like paper, plastic bottles and other debris. She says in her time at the park, she sees hundreds of people, and says if each person picked up just a few pieces of trash, the park would be a better place for both people and animals.
"I feel like I get more Pokémon because I'm walking around, like picking up trash," Turner said.
She moved to Lawton two months ago and says this game has opened doors for her to meet new people and better the community in her short time here.
"You gotta take pride in your community, you gotta take pride in yourself. You have to realize that you're not the only person that's out here and, you know, if everybody did a little bit, little bit more like this, it would make the world a little bit better," Turner said.
Turner says she came to the park Tuesday to play the game with her friends and decided to bring her dog along. She says that's when she realized how much trash was at the park.
"I took her down to the lake so she could cool off in the water, and I didn't even feel comfortable with it because there's just so much nastiness in the water like trash bags and food and cups and everything else," Turner said.
So, Turner returned to the park Wednesday with a box of trash bags and a sign that reads "Good trainers are clean trainers, grab a trash bag and keep our gyms and Pokéstops clean. Gotta catch 'em all."
She hopes by filling up trash bags while playing the game, she can preserve wildlife and the park's beauty. She's only been in Lawton for a short time, but Turner says she feels a sense of ownership and duty and says so should everyone else.
"It's everybody's job to clean up, like we all live here, we should all put in an effort to do it and it's not the city that comes out here, it's everybody. It's, you know, you and your kid, it's you and your grandparents and you and your family. Like, you have to take pride in where you go and show that you care about picking up your trash when you leave," Turner said.
She plans on being at the park again Thursday with extra trash bags on her car if anyone wants to join her in bettering the community while playing Pokémon GO.