Sunday, July 24, 2011

Litter Mob 6

On July 19th six of us assembled, and scored some interesting finds.

At first we found them with no gloves. David, our usual Natural Resources minder, is busy with his youth crew in the summer, and Martin, our temporary minder had not been briefed about gloves. He was good enough to go and fetch some when we squealed. Martin is the usual park animal wrangler and had a lot of funny stories about snapping turtles and pythons. He wore black nail polish.

Just to explain about gloves lest you think us alarmist and overly germ-phobic. If you are right handed, the trash bag goes in your left. The right hand works the grabbers. You pick up with the right and deposit into the bag. Sometimes what is in the grabber can brush against the left hand. Used condoms, tissue paper or wet wipes with human excrement. Bottles with nameless fluid. So the gloves are not a joke.

Rainbow condoms dominated the day, but a  pink dildo and some HIV medication stood out. I now look at litter with a connoisseur's eye.  There was a smell of dead animal in the central part of the woods. Heat and humidity were high.

The men I greeted as I worked my way around the paths were unfailingly pleasant and polite once my, Good morning, was uttered. I don't say anything more to them. Like, WHY DON'T YOU CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES BECAUSE THIS IS REALLY HORRIBLE WORK????

If they start conversation, fine, but I don't.

Mostly they sit along the paths, alone or in pairs, waiting, walking, sometimes following. I had one close call, with someone buttoning up his pants as I walked by.

I think of that woman I saw last fall, with two small children, gathering trash from under the goutweed, in which the children were sitting. I am now as horrified by this as I was inspired then.

I came across a police van and had to squeeze past. The cop inside was asleep. I hoped I would not wake him as I passed - I was inches from his window and he would have jumped out of his skin.

Next litter mob August 2nd. Yes, we need you!

Two quotes from two volunteers:

L - I'm glad that I could help out in the park. It was a great experience even though we did not start with gloves. I apologize that I left early because I had to return the metro card back to my father. Unfortunately, I will not be able to fully join this group because transportation is inconvenient for me. However, I wish your group to succeed, and I hope one day, the forest will be clean.

Fred - I was glad to help. Just so surprised at such a small turnout. I guess that's why it was so easy to get separated from everyone and hardly see anyone after about a half-hour. I wound up with two bags full, and could have bagged much more. Just to point out, There were many more bagsful to be collected along the tree-line overlooking monument hill. Let me know when the next 'MOB' gathers.

Litter Mob results:

8 bags of trash
Many mosquito bites

Wildflowers and plants spotted:

Impatiens capenis - jewelweed
Rubus occidentalis - black raspberries
Sambucus canadensis - elderberries, green

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