10 NEWSLETTER Nov., 2002
Society's 11th Annual Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up
9th, 2002 (10
a.m. to 3 p.m.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Volunteers of all
ages are wanted to assist in this year's “Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up”.
This event is beginning its eleventh year, and is an ideal project for just
about anyone, including families, organizations, and even businesses.
This year's annual
“Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up” will take place over a ten-day period, with
the main volunteer involvement day taking place on Saturday, November 9th. The
Cascade Geographic Society, which has organized this event for the past ten
years, believes that the extension of this annual effort, from six to twelve
days, will obviously have an even greater positive impact on the Mountain's
ever-impressive natural environment.
It is unfortunate
to note that clean-up efforts on Mount Hood like this one are becoming extremely
necessary as natural areas and cultural and historic sites are increasingly
abused and vandalized. Unfortunately, this beautiful Mountain and its
surrounding landscapes that have become the symbol of not only the State of
Oregon, but also the Northwest, seems to have become a “dumping ground” for
household trash and construction debris that comes from as far east of the
Mountain as Hood River and The Dallas, and from Washington State town's as
Battleground and Vancouver, Washington.
It is important to
eliminate as much of this illegally-dumped human trash as possible in our
natural areas, for such debris has proven itself to be harmful to fish and
wildlife. This garbage ends up in our streams, riparian areas, and wetlands,
not to mention in wildlife habitats.
“Even the items that
we humans believe to be the least harmful to dump can have devastating impacts
to our wildlife species,” explained Michael P. Jones,
one of the organizers. “Broken glass, which, unfortunately, seems to be part of
every illegal dump site, can cut both large and small animals. A child's
balloon can kill birds when swallowed, as can the Popcorn” materials used in
Over the years,
the adverse impact of human trash on wildlife have been witnessed firsthand by a
number of people. And, each time, the relatively simple task of cleaning-up
these illegal trash dumps becomes even more important.
unfortunately witnessed birds with plastic string or rope wrapped around their
legs, hanging dead in trees,” said Jones. “And, sadly, you also see small
wildlife species laying dead, having starved to death after getting entangled in
discarded or lost fishing line.”
conveniences of our society also can be harmful to wildlife if not properly
disposed of. Take for example those clusters of plastic rings that allow people
to easily carry a six-pack of beer or pop home from the store; they can be
deadly to wild critters.
“It is not that
unusual to see ducks, geese, or other bird species with their heads through
plastic rings that were designed to hold cans together for the convenience of
people”, said Jones. “This acts as a strangling device when it gets wrapped
around their throats. Yet, this tragedy can be avoided if we humans will cut
these plastic rings apart from one another so that if they do get around
wildlife, they will be less likely to be harmful to them.”
All human garbage
needs to be disposed of properly. If not, then our illegally-dumped human trash
will continue to injure or even kill our wildlife species.
“Even an empty
yogurt container, that seems so benevolent when discarded on the natural
landscape, has also been proven to be harmful to wildlife. Over the last year,
wildlife species in the Northwest, including even skunks, have been located with
this type of trash stuck onto their snouts. With the animal unable to remove it,
they have a great difficulty eating, drinking, and even seeing, this will
eventually help to kill them.”
“Most of the wild
critters that are harmed by our illegally dumped trash, go off where no human
eyes can see their pain and suffering,” said Jones, matter-of-factly. “We never
have the opportunity to see the terrible results of not properly taking care of
our garbage. If we could see the resulting adverse impacts to animals, 99% of
the dumpers would most likely never do it again.”
Some of the
volunteers who will be assisting with the “Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up”
will be from Portland's inner-city. In fact, it was students from Sabin
Elementary School who have actually been not only the primary labor force for
this event, but also the inspiration.
“Mount Hood Public
Lands Clean-Up” actually began as a unique effort through the Cascade Geographic
Society's “Project Discovery”, which is an enrichment program that introduces
students from the inner-city to natural, cultural, and historic sites. A group
of participants from Nita Kreuzer's
fifth-grade class, many of whom had never been to the Mountain before,
contributed their time cleaning-up other people's trash. And, they loved it,
realizing just how important their volunteer work was.
“The work of the
Sabin students touched a lot of people's hearts,” explained Jones. “They were
not here recreating like most people, but, instead, they were here from the
inner-city doing a project that was so important to Mount Hood.
“Watching them work,
one could not help but to be inspired by these individuals as they gave their
time to Mount Hood. And, always you remember the looks on their faces and the
excitement in their voices as they see the mountain of garbage that they removed
from Mount Hood's
natural landscape. This is why this clean-up has become such an important
assisting in the “Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up” will begin cleaning-up
“targeted” sites on Tuesday, November 5th, and will work throughout the next two
weeks until Tuesday, November 12th, on areas that are more difficult to reach.
On Saturday, November 9th, the largest number of volunteers will come together
to clean-up the easier and more visible sites which will have the most garbage.
Then on Sunday, still other volunteers will complete cleaning any of the sites
that did not get finished on Saturday.
“If you love Mount
Hood, or use it for any reason, this is a positive, hands-on way to demonstrate
it,” explained Jones. “This effort is critical because we'll be removing trash
from the landscape which will be harder to clean-up after it goes through the
Those wishing to
volunteer for the “Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up” should meet whether rain or
shine in the Fireside Room at Mt. Hood Village,
located at 65000 East U.S. Highway 26, near the Village of Brightwood. They
should bring gloves, a sack lunch, dress for the weather, and should expect to
have a great time while they help Mount Hood.
are pickup trucks and trailers in all sizes. These will assist in hauling trash
from the illegal dump sites to the garbage dumpsters.
will be offered prior to the “Mount
Land's Clean-Up” as well as following. There will be some delicious baked goods
for the volunteers, as well as hot drinks.
in the “Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up” contributes their time because they
realize just how important their efforts are to this impressive Mountain of the
Cascades. They will receive a “Certificate of Appreciation” for their
assistance in cleaning-up Mount Hood's natural landscape.
For the eight-day
effort, the Cascade Geographic Society will have dumpsters placed at the corner
of U.S. Highway 26 & East Miller Road, which is located approximately one-half
mile west of Mt. Hood Village. As much as possible, the trash collected will be
Annual “Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up” should prove to be the best clean-up
effort ever, as mountains and mountains of trash vanish from the natural
landscape. It's a positive way of giving back to a Mountain that gives so much
to so many people, but asks for nothing in return but respect.