K9 Trailblazers Dog Hiking Club
(click on thumbnail images for full size picture)
What a great group! K9Trailblazers proudly turned out 12 people and 7 dogs to do the unglamorous job of picking up trash along the Potomac River as well as in parking lots, picnic areas and along the road in Turkey Run Park.
Pat and Mickey thank their team: Lisa, Chuck and Jester who have been active and loyal members of the club since the beginning; and Jennifer, who had to leave Angel home but came anyway and did the least enjoyable task, walking alone along the road picking up an entire trash bag full of cigarette butts.
Jeff thanks his team: Nancy and Tester, Paul and Lucky, Ray and Wiley, Mark and Hannah with Winnie and Flash, and Jeanne for hauling bag after bag of trash up from the river on steep switchbacks. An extra big pat on the back to Paul for lugging 4 tires up from the river (all at once), and Ray for not only his photography work, but also for carrying a tire WITH RIM all the way up the VERY steep and long switchback from the river. We noticed that the laws of physics seemed to change as the day went on. The trail was much longer when the bags of trash were full and the bag actually got heavier even if no additional trash was added!
And we all owe a big round of applause to Cindy who spent hours alone in Parking Lot C-1 picking up trash and being our communications contact throughout this event. She didn’t even have Belle to keep her company! Nice job everyone—we couldn’t have done it without you!
Now for the news you have all been waiting for: we picked up 550 pounds of trash! And 5 old tires; and a big sheet of Styrofoam (fun for Mark and Jeff); and several bags of brown beer bottles which are heavy and hard to carry; and several bags of cigarette butts which are very light and required a whole lot of bending over to fill up each bag.
Chuck had a brilliant idea for a slogan to put on signs: "Get your BUTTS outa here!" There is a precedent: "Don’t mess with Texas" has dramatically reduced public expenditures for trash removal along highways in that state. He also came with the best tool: a long stick with a hook on the end so he could reach into woods and water to spear trash without damaging vegetation or getting his feet wet. At our post-event team conference, we decided next year we will make the job much easier and faster by bringing brooms and a dustpan for the parking areas instead of picking up cigarette butts one at a time!
K9Trailblazers wanted to help the environment and give something back to Turkey Run Park as a way of showing our appreciation for ranger-led hikes there two years in a row. We did both! Thanks to all the good sports who helped and to all the dogs who thought they were going for a "hike" and discovered it was 3-4 miles a few steps at a time over 4 hours.
(Pictures by Ray and Wiley, and Paul and Lucky. Thanks, guys!)