Right in between Earth Day and Mother’s Day the Realm of Caring Foundation spent a cold, overcast day (so rare for Colorado!) beautifying one of our city parks - Ute Valley Park. This park is special because it is right in town, yet a few minutes on the trail you forget that you are surrounded by busy streets, neighborhoods, and businesses because your vistas are those of sandstone cliffs and mesas, wooded and open space trails. But as you head west, off the trail we landed upon a bone that led to a full carcass discovery from the Cervidae family left out to dry after gluttonous feast induced by a full moon hunt.
Our small group is now under high alert as we weave our way through the yucca plants and other spiny, thorny vegetation and I am glad that our guide insisted we wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and gloves armed with extra heavy duty bags to capture what we were really out here hunting for - TRASH. It doesn’t take long for us to find the homeless area our guide, Christina had told us about.
“You will be able to find mostly cardboard boxes used for sleeping, but we have yet to find needles,” she said.
We found plenty of boxes, wrappers of all kinds, plastic bottles and unfortunately, a small syringe needle.
We trodded further into an area that is apparently downwind from the neighborhood Walgreens. Christine explained to us that they do not lock their garbage bins and when the winds pick up their trash is blown straight into the drainage area of this otherwise pristine park.
This is where we found the bulk of the trash: oil containers, holiday decorations, batteries, political advertising signs, excrement contained in bags (human?), and plastic, plastic, PLASTIC galore in all forms.
We picked, we hauled, we pulled, and there was still so much we had to leave behind hopefully for another team of concerned individuals. We all had different takeaways and here is mine:
As we celebrate our Mother’s this year, let’s also think of the greater Mother that sustains us all.
It seems inconsequential, yet a little effort from each part does make a huge impact. Give the gift of time and volunteer for your favorite local nonprofit today!
Happy Mother's Day!