for earth day, get out went to Bass River State Park for a cleanup. really nice day! we got to go deep into the pine barrens up there. apparently people in the area used to use the spot as a dumping ground before the town started picking up certain things. we hauled out ancient kitchen appliances, (some of which had been used as target practice!) roofing shingles, cement blocks and even some old carpeting that had been there so long that the roots from the trees had become intertwined with the shag (shag!).
the park employees figured that people dumped their garbage there before the townships picked up things like that. ellen said that her neighborhood recently started to collect those kinds of things, and the trash & garbage in the neighborhood & the parks has gone down quite a bit since they started doing that. cynthia, the park ranger from bass river in charge of the cleanup project, said that the townships in that area picked up everything now, and that most of the garbage that needs to be picked up is very old. she said there were a few dump sites like this one in the park. getting volunteers out to clean up is difficult. good to remember….
interesting note, some of the trash we had to leave because it would have interfered with the ecosystem, like the rug that had roots. we removed some of it but left the rest. they would clean up a little more next time. one pile of roofing shingles was buried under years and years’ worth of pine needles; only a few were sticking out, so when chris & i pulled that first layer out, the second layer sent about a million ants into a tizzy. so we left the rest there, uncovered, so the ants would have a place to live still. someone will pick them up next time. maybe it will be us :)