Plastic has become quite the invader! Did you know that over 22 million pounds of plastic invades the Great Lakes annually? And can you believe that half of all that plastic ends up right here in Lake Michigan? That is not okay!
Serving as the largest freshwater system on Earth, it is incredibly important for local communities to take care of this resource. So, Claire Colton, Shannon Atwood, and Meghan Langmyer — three of our amazing Kohl’s Design It! Lab rock stars — recently spent their time cleaning up the Lake Michigan shoreline at Atwater Beach, Veterans Park, and Lakeshore State Park collecting thousands of pieces of plastic, fireworks, and food wrappers.
But what do with all that trash? Throw it in the garbage? No way! You make awesome art. We used the collected rubbish to create sculptures of Great Lakes invasive species. These invaders have come into the Great Lakes by hitching rides in ships’ ballast tanks and are inadvertently dumped into the water when a ship makes port. We currently have a Chinese Mitten Crab, Rusty Crayfish, and Quagga Mussel on display. They are known to clog drains, compete with native creatures, and disrupt the food chain.
The creatures are on display in the Kohl’s Design It! Lab with more invasive species coming soon!