Local residents continues effort to clean up Springwater Trail

WATCH EXCLUSIVE VIDEO | Discover why this intrepid volunteer keeps inspiring others to come to outer East Portland to clean this path of trash and rubbish. Sign up to help on April 10 …

Paying no heed to the drizzle, volunteers gather in the Lents neighborhood to pick trash from the Springwater Trail, and the Interstate 205 Multi-use Path.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A year ago on March 21, 2021, a large group of volunteers – working in small “pods”, due to COVID-19 social distancing – gathered to clean up the Springwater Trail and the Interstate 205 Multi-use Path, near Lents Town Center.

> CLICK HERE to read about that inaugural clean-up in 2021.

Watch these intrepid volunteers, working in wind-blown rain, as they pick up a huge amount of trash in this exclusive video:

Surprising to some, this effort was led by a resident of the Eastmoreland neighborhood – Katherine Schroeder.

However, this wasn’t a one-off occurrence for her. Just about every month since then, she has continued to organize such clean-ups; the most recent being on Sunday afternoon, March 13.

More than just helping host the cleanup, John Spinnette of Steve’s Imports heads out to pick up trash.

Homeless camps force event southward
They’d had originally scheduled to do a Path clean-up further north, starting near S.E. Holgate Boulevard; but, due to numerous encampments in the area, it was considered too dangerous for volunteers to work in that area.

Not giving up, they shifted their efforts further south along S.E. 92nd Avenue, near the Springwater Trail crossing. There, the group was hosted by John Spinnette of Steve’s Imports who offered amenities not found at other such events, including clean restrooms, water bottles, and a pizza lunch – just right for the 1 p.m. start time.

Long history of litter clean-ups

Having been trained by SOLVE before her first cleanup a year ago, Katherine Schroeder briefs volunteers on what to pick up – and, more importantly, what not to touch.

“I actually volunteered for the very first litter cleanup in my hometown of Vale, Oregon, on the very first Earth Day, and I’ve been picking up litter ever since!” Schroeder recalled.

“This continues to be a partnership with SOLVE Oregon and the Lents Neighborhood Livability Association – thanks to the help of a lot of great volunteers cleaning up the Trail and Path,” Schroeder told East Portland News.

Heading out to pick up trash along the Trail were the members of the Lafayette family, coming all the way from!

She reminded that, although she lives in inner Southeast Portland, as an avid bicyclist she enjoys riding all of the area’s trails and bike paths.

“Over the past year, this has been a remarkable experience – because of how responsive people have been, and how happy they say they are, to have a project in which they can bring their families and be of service to the community,” the organizer said.

Many families arrived to help during this Springwater Trail cleanup day.

“The result is that neighbors who live along the Path, and who use the Path, like I do, are very pleased to see the work that we’ve been doing.”

By the time all of those who came were oriented, a total of 46 volunteers – including several families with kids – ignored the light rain and pitched in to bag and pile about one ton of trash that day.

In this segment of the Springwater Trail, large quantities of noxious litter are easy to find and remove.

Does this activity look interesting? Join in at their next event on Sunday, April 10, from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m. To find out where, and get more information – or to sign up – see the SOLVE website at: CLICK HERE.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News.com™


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