Great Indy Clean-Up

“We believe everyone should have the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature daily – even a quick bit in between errands” – Candi King

If you park in elevated parking pad on 86th st, between the Monon trail and Aldi, you can find a small park called Nora Corners Pocket Park. It was cleared and approved by Aldi to become a small park.

We spoke with Candi King and were told that eventually the path would be widened so they aren’t allowed to put anything permanent up until the work is done but they have a park bench and planter boxes for right now. A relaxing little corner to take a break from a walk or maybe plan a few minute break at your next grocery stop.

We found the event through their Facebook page “Friends of Nora” where they said there are trash cleanups every other month. They invited us to the Great Indy Cleanup. You can read more about that here: Great Indy Clean UP or you can contact Gerardo Ruiz Tovar, Community Engagement & Volunteers Public Ally: Ruiz Tovar or call 317-264-7555 x130.

It was a nice and cold day and we saw a barefoot person, a kind dog, mud, lakes and some other people. We had rubber gloves and found lots and lots of garbage everywhere. We filled up about two bags with garbage.

A Helping Ninja Mom, Theresa, Indianapolis, IN

…to the world you are only one person, but to one person you may be the world.

IUPUI Sustainability

A note from Helping Ninja Mellissa:

There are tons of ways that students could spend their Spring break—but only one gives them the opportunity to create positive, sustainable change: Alternative Breaks. Alternative Breaks are service-learning trips that take students outside Indiana to work with community organizations. Each trip focuses on a different social issue, and partners with organizations that also work on those social issues. This year, I went to New Orleans and learned about food justice and food insecurity.

With other students, I worked in gardens in the Lower Ninth Ward, and City Park. After service, we reflect on day, and talk about root causes or solutions of food insecurity. Below is a photo of my group at Burnell’s Lower 9th Ward Market. We learned about how Burnell is helping his community by providing resources to an impoverished, food desert community. 

Melissa Kidulas, 22, , Indianapolis, IN, Helping Ninja


She is a leader at IUPUI and helps to promote a more sustainable environment. She is an Alternative Break Trip Leader, along with President of the Urban Beekeepers at IUPUI.

Melissa is a helping ninja!

**Helping Ninjas noted the single-use plastics and hope to help educate IUPUI students how to properly recycle the plastic bags shown above in the picture and also suggest reusable eco-friendly alternatives students may be interested in trying vs plastic. Learn more about our StandUpToPlastic Initiative

Market District

Written by Siddarth, Age 12, Helping Ninja, Carmel, IN

Why should others consider using reusable bags to grocery shop?

In 2016, the global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 320 million tons of plastic. This is expected to double by 2034. In order to reduce these numbers people need to reduce the amount of plastic waste. Approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away each year. This translates to about a million plastic bags thrown away every minute across the globe, causing billions of marine life to die each year. Using reusable bags can reduce these numbers and help create a healthy ecosystem. If people around the world switch from using plastic bags to reusable bags, we could save our ecosystem, reduce plastic waste, and save billions of marine animals. In conclusion, plastic pollution is destroying our ecosystem and we can protect our beautiful world, just by choosing a reusable bag over plastic.

As plastic pollution is tearing up our world, knowing that I helped prevent plastic bags enter the ocean, inspires me to continue to help the world and gives me a feeling of “Hope” that we can protect our beautiful world.

I’ve learned to make eco-friendly decisions, and to reduce plastic waste.

It is important to recycle because plastic pollution is tearing our world apart with more than 320 million tons of plastic entering our ocean in 2016, this is killing billions of marine life and is destroying our ecosystem. At this rate of plastic pollution, that statistic is expected to double by 2034. You see, recycling can reduce these numbers, protect the ecosystem, and save marine life around the world.

It is important to protect our planet because we can in which create healthy ecosystems, protect life, and to create a sustainable, healthy world for future generations.

As stated before, approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags are thrown away each year. This translates to about a million plastic bags thrown away every minute across the globe, causing billions of marine life to die each year. Using reusable bags can reduce these numbers and help create a healthy ecosystem. Market District not only reduces waste by implementing the use of reusable bags, but they also recycle plastic bags(Which can’t be done by curbside recycling), take Eco-friendly actions, and Market District uses “Green” decisions in their daily operations so that they can reduce plastic waste and conserve energy. These decisions make Market District a role model. I truly believe that other business should take after Market District and try to be a “Green” business just like Market District.


 Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, 2019!

Helping Ninjas™ are preparing for the big day!

 #whatRUdoing4EarthDay is an Earth Day Initiative in hopes to inspire others to join us and the billions of people around the globe who will celebrate Earth! Help Earth by doing an act of kindness towards our planet!

What are you doing for Earth Day? Share your ideas with us!

Join us on our journey to be highly-skilled at heaping our planet, ourselves and each other!

Example Post: Get outside#GoOutdoors #whatRUdoing4EarthDay @helpingninjas

We can’t think of a better day than Earth day to celebrate our home? Join the movement, be a helping ninja, learn to be highly skilled at helping the world!

Here are some ideas and examples of how to join our Earth Day initiative!

Example Post: Planting seeds for our family garden together! #whatRUdoing4EarthDay #plantseeds @helpingninjas

Example Post: Take a picture of something beautiful in nature! #natureisart #whatRUdoing4Earthday @helpingninjas

Example Post: Create Earth Art #EarthArt #whatRUdoing4EarthDay @helpingninjas

Example Post: Switch to all eco-friendly cleaning supplies! #Eco #GoGreen #EarthArt #whatRUdoing4EarthDay @helpingninjas

Example Post: Sharing harvested seeds with community! #seedswap #helpingninjas #whatRUdoing4EarthDay

What are you doing for Earth Day? 

What will you do to help the Earth and our environment? Learn, Help and Share your ideas with us! LearnHelpShare®Share ideas of how you are helping Earth, or your plans on Earth Day 2019, or share last year’s efforts! Others can learn, help and share! 

Post Earth Day 2019 ideas to be featured! Post ideas on social media and tag:


Send us ideas of how you are helping Earth, our share your plans on Earth Day! Send ideas to to be featured on our blog!

Earth Day 2019 Helping Ninjas in Carmel, IN Leo Berry, Helping Ninjas founder and creator – and his family, and fellow ninja classmates, will be installing Carmel Clay School district first-ever Farm-To-Table school cafe organic garden. The cafe garden, also a first in Hamilton County, Leo and the CCS elementary school hope to serve as inspiration for other schools in the area.

Learn more about our Farm To Table project with Carmel Clay Schools Cafe and Garden Director

What are you doing for Earth Day?

Join us, accept the Helping Ninjas Mission: Earth Day 2019 Challenge. Help us create awareness! Help our planet by doing something good for the Earth! Post your picture #WhatRUdoing4EarthDay and tag @helpingninjas 

Here’s how to join the fun!

#gardening #whatRUdoing4EarthDay @helpingninjas

Helping Ninja Earth Day Challenge: 

Post your picture on social media or submit to us at

Selected submissions will be posted on our website to share!  

Like picking up trash, planting a tree, or flowers! Or even making a poster showing ways or telling about things you can do to help our planet Earth!

Helping Ninja Emojis! 

Draw your version of a Helping Ninja emoji and send to us!

All art is encouraged! To submit artwork related to nature and/or ways to help the Earth. Such as a flower, someone picking up trash, ocean pollution, coral reef, etc…send to

We are currently looking for Earth Day Blog Submissions. Children, helping ninja moms and dads and teacher – all community members! Anyone can be a helping ninja! Send entires to

Earth Day Blog Posts Ideas:

  • What does Earth Day mean to you?
  • Submit one idea that someone could do at home for Earth Day. Typed, Hand Written, original artwork or pictures excepted
  • Write one interesting fact (or more) related to helping our environment! Topics such as plastic pollution, solutions to sustainable environment, endangered species, replenishing soil, importance of plants, reducing waste, pollution or conservation- all ideas are welcomed!
  • What is Compost?
    What is vermicomposting? Typed, Hand Written, original artwork or pictures excepted
  • Make a list of items from your home that are compostable – perishable and non-perishable items.

Need Earth Day ideas? Check out what Helping Ninjas did on Earth Day 2018

Celebrating Earth Day At School Click here to read ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day at your school 

See More Rock For A Cause, Earth Day 2018, Food Rescue and Reduce Waste

Endangered Species

Helping Ninja, Nathan, Age 12

Endangered Species 
Disappearing before our eyes, many of the world’s most beautiful and beneficial animals are some of the world’s most endangered. Learn about some of these animals and how you can help save them.

Today I visited the Indianapolis Zoo for a Saturday Science Session (for 9-12 year olds) called Endangered Species.

Q: What did you do today?

A: I went to an animal conservation center and learned about animals.

I wanted to take notes so I asked my mom if I could bring a notebook.  She said yes and got one for me.

When I got to the class I sat down next to a girl who drew 2 hearts in my notebook. She said,  “a heart is the first shape I learned to draw; drawing hearts is a way to express your feelings”.

Q: Why did you want to go to this class?

A: To learn more about endangered species and how to help them. I really want to help save animals. I 

have some bracelets and necklaces that I am trying to get donations for. Then I will send in the money to places that help endangered animals.

Q: Did you learn about any specific types of animals?

A: I learned about the macaw, the red panda, African elephants and gorillas.

Q: Was the class about all animals or only endangered ones?

A: The class was not entirely about animals that are endangered species. One of the tour guides taught 

me and the others in the group about an ivory nut. It is a nut good for carving just like an elephant tusk. She gave out slices of the ivory nut at the end of the tour and she said that we could write on them. We could also choose between one with a hole or one without a hole that we could turn into a magnet.

Side note:The ivory-nut comes from the Phytelephas aequatorialis palm tree, Phytelephas means “elephant plant.” 

The seeds (tagua nuts) are used in place of ivory so that elephants, walruses and whales do not have to be put at risk.

Tagua nuts are hard and dense and can be carved and polished just like a tusk into detailed carvings, art pieces, billiard balls, buttons, dice and chess pieces.

Q: Did you go outside at all? 

A: Yes we went outside to visit a tiger exhibit and in the exhibit the tiger was playing with a pine tree.

There were gorillas but they weren’t very active.  Someone was poking the glass, but they should not have been doing that, because it annoys the gorillas.

I saw a yellow non-venomous snake along with several venomous ones.

I got to see a turtle that I got to touch. I used 2 fingers to touch the shell. It felt hard and smooth. The tour guide said “don’t touch the feet or the head”.

Q: What did the tour guide talk about?

A: She talked about the macaw.  It lives about 70 years.  They are endangered because people 

         keep them as pets because of their colorful feathers and they copy words that people say. 

There were about 10 macaws inside the building that were yellow, blue and green, but none of them were talking. They were pecking at pieces of newspaper and cardboard. The tour guide said, “Macaws like to rip and tear at anything they can.” 

Q: Did you look at anything in the classroom? 

A: We saw bones of animals that lived.  There was an eagle skull, elephant tusk, a ferret skull and 


Q: How many people were in the class?

A: There were eight people if you included the tour guide.

Q: Why do you think it is important to learn more about endangered animals?

A: Because then you know how they act so you know where to find them and how you can care for 

         them. Otherwise you have to guess how to care for them. 

Q: Do you think they need our care?

A: Yes, they do need our care, because they are endangered. 

She taught us to remember HIPPO

Habitat destruction, Invasive species, Pollution, Population (human) and Over consumption.

Q: What is an animal that you want to help the most?

A: The barn owl.

Q: Do you think the zoo helps endangered animals?

A: Yes but one problem zoo keepers come across, is animals in zoos behave differently than in the 

wild. For example, zoo keepers feed the animals, and the animals don’t know how to hunt so they can’t be released back into the wild.

Q: What would you like to be some day?

A: I think I would like to be a conservationist or a veterinarian.

At the end the tour guide said that I could keep the papers that she used in class for the slide show because she could see that I was very interested in endangered animals.

She also used information from one of the books written by herpetologist Russell A Mittermeier Ph. D.

Russell is a conservation hero, winner of the Indianapolis Prize from the Global Wildlife Conservation in 2018 and Finalist from the conservation international in 2012 and 2014,

In the paperwork it says that Indianapolis Zoological Society participates in the SSP’s (Species Survival Plan Program). Currently there are 320 SSP’s and the Indianapolis Zoo’s participation is 30 in the categories of endangered, threatened or recovery. 

Q: Do you feel that you accomplished the goal to learn how to help endangered animals?

A: I did learn some new things, but there is MUCH more to learn about endangered species and   animals.