Inner Southeast neighbors help clean up I-205 Multi-Use Path

See volunteers take a ‘hands-on’ approach to getting rid of the trash along this outer East Portland corridor – this time, in Lents Town Center. Learn where you can help, on April 18 …

Standing socially-distanced, gathered with their “pods”, volunteers spend a couple of hours removing trash from the I-205 Multi-Use Path, near the Lents Town Center TriMet MAX Light Rail station.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On Sunday morning, March 21, dozens of volunteers came from all over Southeast to pick up trash and rubbish along the I-205 Multi-Use Path – as a number of people have been doing, on the third Sunday of the month.

Complying with COVID-19 coronavirus protocols, volunteers showed up spread out between noon and 12:30 p.m. – to prevent a crowd from gathering – on the cul-de-sac of SE Ramona Street, at the foot of the Lents Town Center TriMet MAX Light Rail station.

With picker and plastic bag in hand, this monthly path clean-up organizer Catherine Schroeder says she’s ready to start “de-trashing” the area.

The event’s founder and organizer, Eastmoreland neighbor Catherine Schroeder, said she started it because she’d grown weary of seeing all the rubbish along this paved pathway.

“Even though I don’t live nearby, I got started doing this because I’m a bicycle rider who, with my ‘bicycle friends’, just got tired of riding along a very messy path,” Schroeder explained. “Instead of complaining, we decided to do something about it.

Volunteers find plenty of refuse to collect on this path clean-up day.

“After starting this up a few months ago, we partnered with the Lents Neighborhood Livability Association (LNLA), SOLVE, and Detrash Portland, to start taking litter and debris off some of our bike paths,” Schroeder told East Portland News.

Eventually, back on March 21, some 50 volunteers were checked in for the task – all wearing face masks, dressed for the weather, and wearing closed-toed shoes, with work gloves in hand. LNLA volunteers provided instruction, gloves if needed, safety vests, trash bags, and mechanical litter-grabbers.

Taking a break from picking up the trash and hundreds of cigarette butts, are Tom Deggendorfer and Max Deggendorfer. “I’m here from the Woodstock neighborhood, and helping out working toward my Eagle Scout certification,” Max says.

“I’m really pleased to see so many people coming here today to help out!” grinned Schroeder.

A couple of volunteers with LNLA, who were certified to safely pick up and dispose of syringes and needles, found and removed 119 needles from along the path that day.

Bagging a big bunch of trash is volunteer Claire Perez, who says she came all the way from her home in Sellwood to help out.

When it was done, the volunteers had collected an astonishing 81 bags of trash, weighing in at 2,000 lbs. Yes, a ton of rubbish!

“It’s been great having LNLA working with us, because they have extra equipment and supplies, and so many connections to help us spread the word,” remarked Schroeder. “They also dispose of the trash we collect.”

Just getting started, this volunteer gives a “trash-pickers’ salute”, as he tackles mounds of debris along the path.

Come help out on Sunday, April 18
Checking in at noon, volunteers will embark on their latest litter and debris pick up event along the path. All volunteers must wear a mask. Dress for the weather; wear comfortable closed-toed shoes, bring your own work gloves. and perhaps bring a water bottle.

NOTE: There are no restroom facilities at this location. Children are welcome, but they must be accompanied by an attentive adult. Pre-registration is required! The exact meeting point is specified on the sign-in webpage.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up with SOLVE now – not later – to complete the volunteer waiver form and let them know how many are coming.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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