Thursday, March 9, 2017

Camp Chase Trail Clean-Up

Posting a little late on this, but a couple weeks ago the Columbus Westside Running Club (CWRC) organized a trail clean-up day. Every 4th Saturday the club works on a different section of the Camp Chase Trail. The trail is fairly new, but it borders on railroad tracks and the backs of businesses that don't all keep their properties clean. Parts of the trail have been used by people who litter - a lot!

The idea is to get this trail looking clean and beautiful in order to increase recreational usage of the trail. It's a great place for cycling, running, walking, etc. But it does need some help to beautify it.

Group shot of participants after our two hours of trail clean-up

The day I went out for my first trail clean-up was about the coldest one we had in February, which had gotten unseasonably warm weather. On this day we were quite bundled up and there were even snow flurries while we worked, so it was cold.

CWRC has some partners for these clean-ups. Our club's new sponsor, Kroger at Consumer Square, provided water, Gatorade, bananas, granola bars and hand sanitizer, like they are providing for our group runs. Yay, Kroger! Other partners included , Summer Jam West, Friends of the Hilltop, Friends of Camp Chase Trail, Abundant Life Tabernacle and KEEP COLUMBUS BEAUTIFUL. Truly a community effort!

I'm ready to get dirty
Supplies from Kroger
We all got to wear these fabulous vests; I thought we looked like inmates

We all put on our protective gloves and reflective vests, grabbed a bucket, a "grabber" and some bags. I set out on my own and made it my job to pick up small objects. I found probably 200 cigarette butts (yuck), a syringe, scrap metal, broken glass in green, amber, clear and eventually blue, and other miscellaneous garbage. It takes a while to pick up the broken glass shards from the grass and dirt. It also takes awhile to pick up the multitude of cigarette butts from the places where people obviously take smoke breaks. I didn't even fill a bag, but I spent my time cleaning up all that little stuff.

Part of the trail where we worked, looking east
Mural on the back of the Abundant Life Tabernacle

Others in the group stuffed bags full of trash, found tires, and other large objects. In total, the group picked up 95 bags worth of trash, filling one and a half dumpsters. And that was just in a small section of the trail about a quarter of a mile long.

It felt good to get out and do something for the community and the local trail. I hope these efforts pay off and we see more people using the trail come spring. Would you like to help? Then "like" the CWRC Facebook page and you'll see the event notices.


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