Monday, March 16, 2009

Three bags a day

I worked on an area today that looked like it was being neglected. The bowl shaped woods leading down to the pond are boardered on one side by a fence running along Forest Park Drive as the road is called, down to Woodhaven Boulevard, the large road that splits the park in two. Along that fence, there are three sets of park benches, the kind made of wood and concrete. Predictably, the wooded area behind those benches contain a lot of trash. There are no waste baskets near those benches, or indeed, any waste baskets on the side of the park facing the woods going all the way up to Oak Ridge, the park headquarters perched on a hill at the end of Forest Park Drive. There are several trash baskets around the band shell, by the way, in the parking lot and carousel area, and in the picnic area. There are none on the side facing the pond or the woods. I remove a minimum of three plastic supermarket bags of trash a day from those woods. Often, I'll spend an hour on the weekend in the park. I can stuff trash from the woods into six or 7 bags in an hour. That's every day since I've started. The last Park Manager explained to me that they can't put trash baskets in the areas that accumulate the most litter, because they get vandalized, or are used for household trash. This winter, the laminated sign set on two sturdy legs at the little plaza in front of the pond was ripped off its mooring and thrown in the water. We can't just throw up our hands and do nothing can we? I'm caring for about 7 to 10 acres of woods. There are more than 500 in the park.

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