The summer season comes with abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. For fishaholics this time of year also comes with heavy traffic on the water. Unfortunately this additional traffic comes with some collateral damage.
The scene above is regularly found on the kayak section of Clear Creek in downtown Golden during the peak activity periods of summer. As you can see the “pack your trash” policy has been replaced with “just leave it anywhere”. You have no idea how much this angers and saddens me. It also trumpets the shortsightedness of some people in regards to the outdoors. All things considered maybe those folks should have just stayed home. By August I am looking forward to a lot of this traffic going to back to school.
The full situation here is not all bad and it helps to realize that the good folks of this world vastly outnumber the bad. Wind and not humans may be the larger contributor of trash overall on my fishing spots. The other bright spot of this story is that many people help minimize the blight left by those unscrupulous others. In fact, the entire parks and recreation staff of Golden comes out Saturday and Sunday during the peak recreational days to mitigate the damage shown above. Emptying overflowing trashcans, collecting discarded refuse and even removing graffiti in some cases. Countless hours are spent on this effort along a two-mile area. When it is all said and done they will fill at least one dump truck and partially fill another. Hats off to you folks! And for shame on those that do not pack out their own crap.
As a friendly reminder to help folks care for the creek and other natural areas I will add a few ideas that go a long ways in regards to removing\eliminating trash. These are things most of us regard as common sense but a refresher never hurts. Unfortunately the people that leave trash don’t read my blog.
- Don’t pack it in if you can’t pack it out. View public trashcans as a last option as opposed to your primary dumping point. Animals, wind and hobos may simply redistribute this refuse from these receptacles resulting in a futile effort along with a worse situation.
- Pick up what you can when you can. This is so important and if enough momentum was gathered on this one concept, we would see so much less trash. If you see discarded refuse on the ground and simply complain…you are part of the problem. Having a few small grocery bags on hand makes the quick trash grab an easy option.
- If you think parks and outdoor spaces are your personal property to trash, maybe you should just stay home.
In closing I might suggest that these “Get Outside” campaigns come with a little bit of education, conservation and common sense. If I catch another little vandal desecrating an outdoor facility I may just spank the parent.
Good luck fishing and please care for the creek