ASHLAND, Ore. — An Ashland woman has launched a recycling project for over a thousand children in Southern Oregon. The founder of the nonprofit Superkid Power Inc. said after being cooped up inside for much of the pandemic, she wanted to provide an outlet for children to use their creativity while also learning about the environment.

“This is how children can really start feeling part of the solution of what we need to do in our communities and on earth,” said Janai Mestrovich.

Starseed Foundation out of Portland has funded the entire project, and Mestrovich has been working on the project for months. The project provides children with a canvas reusable bag and fabric crayons. Mestrovich said the goal is to allow children to get creative and design a recycling bag they’re proud to use. So far 1200 children in Southern Oregon have received the recycling bags.

“I was wondering what can I do, I can’t go back into classrooms right now, children need to be creative and get involved and need to feel they are needed and connected in the community and this was the perfect project,” Mestrovich said. “Children get to use their bags to carry toys or books or to help their families when they’re carrying groceries out, and they get to feel a part of what is happening so they don’t feel disconnected.”

Ashland School District, Phoenix-Talent School District, the Boys and Girls Club, Southern Oregon University preschools, and numerous other schools have gotten involved. In downtown Ashland, signs have been posted in businesses to support the project. Paddington Station, Northwest Nature Shop, Shop’N Kart and other businesses have supported the kid’s recycling.

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