By Marlee Ginter

LODI (CBS13) – When the sun hits the water at Lodi Lake, it almost looks picture-perfect, but seventh graders Aiden Burt and Darien Cox took a closer look and didn’t like what they saw – so they decided to do something about it.

With gloves on and trash bags in hand, they hit the shoreline picking up every piece of garbage they came across.

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“We thought that everyone took the lake for granted,” Burt said. “So we decided to clean up other people’s messes.”

“We saw like this small little creek filled with empty cups and bottles and we felt like nature shouldn’t be treated like a trash can,” Cox said.

They’ve already filled several bags with trash, and they say they’re not done.

Absolutely blown away by what they were doing,” said Jessica Dodge, Cox’s mom. “I couldn’t think of doing something like that at 13.”

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“I was so impressed that they had the idea to do it and that they took the initiative to do it,” said Colleen Berry, Burt’s mom. “I couldn’t be prouder.”

But for Aiden and Darien, there’s more to their mission than just cleaning up. They want to set an example… and inspire others to do their part.

“I definitely want people to try to keep the lake clean as much as we do,” Cox said.

“It really sets an example for other youth in the community and plenty of grownups too,” Berry said.

Two boys bent on keeping their community clean hope others will do the same.

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“It makes me feel like we did something that no one else would try and do here,” Cox said. “It just makes me feel good to know that the lake is being cleaned.”