It’s our park, please leave it better than you found it!
By George Deatz
The Ozarks, what a unique place to live!
My plan was to pick up a couple of bags of trash at the Springfield Botanical Garden that I had noticed earlier while walking around Lake Drummond. It had been thrown along the edges of the lake and in the wooded areas that border much of the hard surface section of the South Creek Greenway that runs through Close Memorial Park including the connecting trail around the lake.
The park was filled with people walking, bike riding, flying kites, enjoying family picnics and using the interesting playground equipment. Beauty was everywhere, blooming flowers and shrubs in the many gardens plus trees in the park’s arboretum. The floral beauty was also a hit with many photographers taking that special shot. The temperature was just right for a perfect day in the park, including trash collection.
The final tab, was a record haul of trash for me. Three motel laundry plus three grocery size plastic bags full of plastic drink bottles, beer cans, a wine bottle, fast food material, plastic bags of all sorts, trash paper from many sources. My favorite, dirty diapers and “pet poo” bags, used and pitched in the woods.
The interesting fact is there are blue trash barrels along the mile and half area I covered. It just amazes me how people can act like this and treat one of southwest Missouri’s jewels like a trash dump. I wonder if they live like that at home?
I have suggested this before. Please come out, use your fantastic public parks, enjoy your parks but try and leave them better than you found them. Bring what you need but take back or properly dispose of what you don’t want. You might also consider taking at least one thing the visitor before you carelessly left behind. Please join me, carry a plastic bag in your pocket or purse, you can make a difference!
I hope to see you around the gardens in the park throughout this year.