My "green" day

Categories: cleanup   green   Running   trail   woods

This weekend, I had every intention of going up to Harbins Park to see the new trails. This is a new park in the Gwinnett park system, and it looks like it has at least 20 miles of various trails to explore. (They are multi-use, with some for biking, horseback riding, and then just plain hiking.)  I was even more excited after reading Davids report of what’s out there.

But, Sunday morning came, and I just didn’t feel like getting in my car.  After debating it over a cup of coffee, I decided to stay local and do some cleanup.

Behind my house, our community has a swath of green space. Once of the reasons we picked the house we live in is because I wanted trees behind us. (It’s much better than looking at your neighbors porch.) Plus, I was hoping at some point there would be some sort of trail system through it.  Besides the remnants of old trails, the other thing back there was a lot of trash. The usual beer cans, and plastic water bottles, and various other stuff. So, I decided to do my late Earth-Day duty, and clean up.

This will give you an idea of what it’s like. You can almost see that we have a stream back there too. 

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Some deer live back here, but I only saw their tracks today. The stream has a lot of sand, so tracks tend to stand out a lot.  I also some some clawed prints, dogs I’m guessing since they were pretty big. (And I don’t think we have wolves or coyote’s back here.)

Wandering through, I quickly filled up my first bag. (Brought 2 grocery bags with me, naively thinking that would last a while.) However, I ran into an inner tube that wouldn’t fit, and some broken PVC pipe that quickly shredded the bag.  So I dropped everything to continue on, and figured I’d get it on the way back.

A few minutes later, I noticed a wind-chime hanging from a tree. Given this was quite a ways back in the woods, I’m guessing it’s from a number of years ago. Getting closer, I saw a little garden statue and some plastic trellis with fake flowers.  hmmm…maybe it’s a grave site.

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 I grabbed the rotting basketball that was back there, but left the site untouched for the most part. (I did grab some of the plastic that had blown away.

A little while later, I ran into a downed tree.  After using it as a balance beam to walk up to some other trash, I took a look at where it blocked the stream.  Sans hip waders and a big net, I did leave most of this mess as-is. It will be a project for another day.

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I headed back to the house, grabbed some larger garbage bags and made it back to pick up everything from my piles. I couldn’t help myself, and had to head upstream a little bit to play.  There’s another tree across the stream, that was just begging to be crossed.  Here I am, midway, about 5 feet about the water, hanging perilously for dear life. (Well, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but the reflection in the water was pretty cool.)

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Back at the house, I surveyed my junk, then headed out for a couple miles on the street so I could feel like I actually covered some miles.  Although the basketball and innertube were the big items, I thought the interesting one was a plastic bottle with some foil, which I assume someone was using as a bong. (And heaven help this blog, since now there is a drug reference and I’ll get hit by all the crazies.)

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Until next time, happy trails.

Written on April 27, 2009