On October 21, the Friends of Harold Parker held a roadside cleanup in anticipation of NEMBA’s upcoming Wicked Ride on October 29. The Wicked Ride attracts hundreds of mountain bike enthusiasts from all over the state and beyond—we want to be sure the Forest looks great for all our visitors.
Ten volunteers met at Lorraine Campground and paired off to pick up trash along Jenkins, Middleton and Harold Parker Roads. As with other clean up efforts, we were appalled by the amount of trash found. The litter included the usual fast food packaging, cigarette boxes, bottles, cans, abandoned articles of clothing, hubcaps and bagged dog poop (Note: if you're not going to take it with you, don't bother bagging it!). Saturday’s haul also netted two TV sets and a toilet! We noticed someone had dumped truckloads of brush. What the ten volunteers accumulated in just a couple of hours filled to overflowing the bed of a large pick-up truck.
Equally disturbing is the number of liquor bottles collected. From the Pavilion on Middleton Road to Harold Parker Road all the way out to Rt. 114, we found over 25 half-gallon whiskey bottles, along with countless fifths of vodka, wine bottles, nips and beer cans. We will share our tallies and observations with local police and ask them to look out for whoever might be responsible for what appears to be illegal drinking as well as blatant littering.
Such disrespect for the Forest is discouraging, and it also poses a health risk to visitors as well as to the wildlife that inhabits the woods and ponds. Items such as broken glass, fishing line and hooks, cans and six-pack rings are the problem, and the irresponsible humans that leave them behind are the culprits. Over the years FOHP has picked up hundreds of bags of trash, but this haul was unprecedented—we had held a clean up of the same area just last April.
If you witness illegal dumping, please report it to the local police. Take a picture of the vehicle’s license plate, if you can do so safely.
Be sure to carry out your own trash when you leave the Forest and encourage others to do the same. When you go for a walk, tuck a trash bag in your pocket and pick up as much as you can. Trash attracts trash, so let's demonstrate we have zero tolerance for littering in Harold Parker!