Saturday, April 28, 2012


This morning was the third annual Monroe County Pick Up The Parks (PUTP) event at 7 county parks.  The Friends of Webster Trails (FWT) and the Genesee Regional Off-road Cyclists (GROC) both attended the event at Webster Park.  As a board member of both, and a Webster resident, of course I was there.
The Penfield Green Initiative also had a presence.

There was a great turnout.  I'd guess 50+ volunteers. But Webster Park is a big place so we split into small groups. The park already seemed to be rather clean so it was more like and Easter egg hunt or trying to find the hidden treasures.  The garbage tended to be along the perimeter of open areas where the mowed areas transition to wild vegetation.  The wind blows it there and I guess people throw trash there thinking it's out of sight, out of mind.  I started in a group of about six, but with trash being rare and along a single path, it quickly became obvious that working individually would be most efficient.

I hiked along open park field but soon found some trail to walk.  I actually found some really nice single track that I'll definitely be coming back to for some muni action.  I ride in Webster Park, but it's a big place and I certainly haven't seen it all.  I generally ride in the south end but today's work started in the north.

The majority of what I collected was soda cans and beer bottles.  At one location I stepped off the trail for a beer... bottle only to discover more and more.  There were so many of those old style Genesee bottles with no neck.  Then I found some stranger things, like a very nice serving platter, a bowl, a ladle, and two fancy glasses, all made of crystal!  Plus there was a small but heavy decorative crystal basket about the size of softball.  All this was on a brush and tree covered hillside well off a trail below a picnic area.  If only trees could talk!

With dozens of bottles, cans, and all this crystal, my garbage bag was heavy so I dropped it on the park road at the top of the hill and started a new bag.  I turned away for a few minutes and when I looked back the bag was gone and a car was pulling away.  I guess another PUTP helper was taking it away?  I don't know what happened too it, which is kind of too bad because I would have liked to show my finds off later.

After that I hiked further into the park trails and actually felt like I was lost.  Years ago when I got into muni I explored Webster Park and got lost.  A lot of those trails aren't great, and since I get lost in them I generally stick to my usual loop to the south.  I'm telling you, it's really very easy to get lost in this place.  There are very few trail signs although many of the trails are blazed with paint on trees.  But since I did see a few cool trails I feel like I have to get back in there and ride more.

So while being lost I continued to pick up the occasional trash, mostly cans and bottles.  I found something of a junk pile about 20 feet off one trail and was able to make a good dent in it.  It was mostly plastic oil bottles and beverage containers.  I didn't have space for the busted up toolbox.  It's weird how some stuff seems so out of place.  I'm not sure who was bringing this trash so far from their homes.

Eventually I started to recognize where I was.  I was in the area that I got lost in years ago!  But I kind of remembered a grassy muddy trail that lead to Holt Rd, and sure enough that's where I popped out.  I headed north, collection a small amount of trash along the tree line before eventually seeing the park area near the lodge that was the PUTP home base.
That pretty much ended my exciting garbage collection adventure.

Wow, if you've read this far you must be a connoisseur of fine writing. ;-)
Before I continue, here's my PUTP hike map:

Webster Park - Pick Up The Parks - 2012-04-28

After PUTP I met up with a couple of FWT board members to inspect a section of the John Unger Nature Trail (JUNT),  a short trail off of the Hojack.  There's a 35 foot section of unsustainable muddy trail that we'd like to have a boardwalk built over.  Likely a boy scout will do this work.

John Unger Nature Trail - 2012-04-28

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