ASTORIA — When Emma Mudrick was planning her fifth birthday party, she had an unusual request that didn't involve a piñata or a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's.
She wanted to pick up trash.
The eco-conscious kid, who turned 5 this past weekend, said she got the idea after walking around her Astoria neighborhood and noticing litter on the streets and sidewalks.
"When I was going to my friend's house in the summer, I saw a lot of trash on the ground," said Emma, an animal lover who said the garbage bothers her because "animals eat it and they might die."
The young party-goers used toy claws to pick up garbage during their nearly one-mile trek through Astoria. (Credit: Courtesy Maryam Shariat)
That's how Emma and her parents — mom Anna Sobel, dad Ross Mudrick and stepmom Maryam Shariat — ended up hosting a "Trash Pickup" bash on Saturday, where the birthday girl and several friends collected litter as they walked in the neighborhood.
The young party-goers decorated their own aprons, donned work gloves and used toy claws to pick up garbage during their nearly 1-mile trek through Astoria. The city's Sanitation Department even donated pins and coloring books as party favors.
The crew collected a whole bag of trash before the festivities ended with lunch at Bareburger on 31st Avenue and 34th Street.
"It was even funner than I thought," said Emma, who added that she wants to be a zookeeper when she grows up.
Her parents said they were happy with their daughter's decision to go with a civic-minded birthday theme.
"We felt so proud when she said she wanted to do that for her party," Sobel said. "I think all the other kids are convinced that they're going to have a 'trash party' now."
"It was even funner than I thought," 5-year-old Emma Mudrick said of her eco-friendly bash. (Credit: Courtesy Maryam Shariat)