Looking for its own eco-initiative even in the midst of a pandemic, last April Fleet Feet Fort Wayne debuted the Fleet Feet Plogging Earth Day Challenge. More than 60 individuals collected trash as they walked and jogged around their respective neighborhoods. When participants then posted about their efforts on social media, they were entered into a raffle for a $100 store gift card.

“It was a bit of a last-minute effort [in April 2020], but it gave people a reason to be active and healthy outside and to help the environment at the same time,” Fleet Feet Fort Wayne owner Kevin Croy recalls.

With some added planning devoted to the 2021 event, Croy has been collaborating with the local trail system to boost participation, while also urging Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry to issue a proclamation creating a Fort Wayne plogging day. In addition, Croy plans to issue wooden medals to participants who complete a 5K or 10K route, fill up a one-gallon trash bag and post their collections to social media.

“The hope is that all of these efforts push us close to 1000 participants,” Croy says. “We’ve had years of helping people get active and healthy and the Plogging Challenge is an extension of this by supporting the Earth’s health, too.”