Friday, July 28, 2017

Back to Work

Last night I was thinking about ending this blog.  You know, things get old and repetitive and you start wondering if you should find something else to entertain yourself with.  I hadn't been picking up trash on my designated mile along the Mississippi River in weeks.  So this morning I went up to have a look.  There was a guy with a guitar at First Bridge Beach to quietly serenade me while I picked up litter.  That was nice.  I found this little message on the sand.  Ok, things are starting out well.

This graffiti is new.  Should it stay or should it go?

 Grabbing clothes out of the water with a stick is always a fun activity.

I am always careful about picking up needles.  I put it in that bottle and capped it.  Should I do something else with it I wonder. You know that Whole Foods bag on the upper right of this picture says "Make your day a whole better".  Ok, I'm starting to feel like somebody's sending me a litter message.

A little further past First Bridge Beach was a patch of what I think is Yellow Loosestrife.  I will have to send a photo off to the Botanical Wanderings Facebook group to verify.  It may be an escapee from someone's garden.

 A little further down the path in the woods by James Rice Playground was a nest of Colt 45 cans.

But all in all it was a productive morning and a reminder that 3 weeks is way too long in between trash walks. Oh, and thanks for that little trashy heart. That was the last thing I picked up.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Two Days, Five Hours

Hello little piece of trash.  You made my day.  I was out picking up trash over the last several days.  Two days exactly and about five hours of work in total.  What can one person accomplish in that time?  Both days I walked the 1 mile West River Parkway route between Hennepin and Plymouth Bridges.

I barely got this sofa cushion stuffed in the park and rec trash barrel.  Onward to First Bridge Beach where a mom and her teenage son were camping.  I tried to pick up around their tent and be as quiet as I could, but you know I've got work to do and it's ten o'clock in the morning.  I should have recommended to them, if they have to sleep out another night, a place a little further up river that is more private with a water fountain and a bathroom.

On June 1st the City of Minneapolis was supposed to start a ban on plastic bags but at the last minute the state overruled it citing it would be problematic for the city to have different rules than the state.
 The city, by the way, has banned Styrofoam takeout containers and that seems to be working fine.  Anyway, I have mixed feelings about plastic bags because I do use the plastic bags I get at the downtown Target.  I figure that I use each Target bag 2 to 3 times when I am picking up trash before they just get too filthy.

So in five hours I can pick up about a dozen bags of trash.
Bassett Creek has really been stinky this week.  There were probably a dozen or so rotting fish, several other dead animals, and one old dried out muskrat carcass that was as hard as leather.  I was reading an article recently about fireworks disrupting fish and wildlife and it is that time of the year.  We do love our fireworks here.  But the fish are most likely Common Carp and unwanted by the fishermen who just caught them and they get left behind on the bank of the creek.  Like bait, I'm guessing the DNR would prefer that they go in the trash can.

This last month I have been following a facebook group called Take2Miss.  You might think that the name refers to the river, but it is actually the state of Mississippi and specifically a litter problem along the Pearl River.  Like our Mississippi River, the Pearl River is the water source for a part of their state and also empties into the Gulf of Mexico.  And they have a litter problem.  They are planning a large cleanup of all 444 miles of that river this coming September.  So let's see, people on both sides of the river, double that, can one person work all day, no, not they need 800 people to truly clean it up?  That's a massive undertaking.  Do they have tires and other large items that will need to come out. More likely it will need to be a yearly project. The importance of this group and the photos of trash is that it documents what a shit show their natural spaces have become.  See for yourself.

So good luck folks.  Wish I could join you down there in Mississippi this September.