‘Pick it up, Portland!’ volunteers pluck truck-load of trash in Lents

See where these folks worked, picking up a lot of refuse in outer East Portland, in the Foster Floodplain Natural Area …

Socially-distanced, volunteers gather for a Pick It Up, Portland! event; this one hosted by Portland Parks & Recreation, in the Foster Floodplain Natural Area.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Even though record-setting heat was forecast for the already-warm summer morning of Saturday, June 26, volunteers started gathering on the east end of the Foster Floodplain Natural Area to begin a clean-up effort along the Springwater Trail.

These hearty folks were some of the 1,515 volunteers removed from business fronts, parks, and neighborhoods at 25 projects throughout the City, as part of SOLVE organization’s fifth annual Pick It Up, Portland! cleanup.

Standing by a directional sign she’s just picked up, after volunteers “hit the trail”, is PP&R Johnson Creek Watershed Stewardship Coordinator Susan Hawes.

“This morning, we’ll be heading west along the Springwater Trail, going through the Foster Floodplain Natural Area picking up trash,” explained the cleanup’s organizer, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Johnson Creek Watershed Stewardship Coordinator Susan Hawes, to the volunteers gathered for a briefing.

“Be on the lookout for anything with a bright orange tip – like a needle or syringe. Don’t pick those up, and let me know – I have a ‘sharps container’ and the special gloves needed to pick up this type of material,” admonished Hawes, as she provided the group with a detailed safety orientation, before sending them on their way.

Leading the way are PP&R interns Lionel Dailey and Kaleb Bekele, from the Lents Youth Initiative a project of Rose CDC.

“It’s really fantastic to have the community out here today; all during the [COVID-19 coronavirus] pandemic, we’ve continued having small cleanups on a regular basis, getting 10 to 15 volunteers out at a time safely,” Hawes told East Portland News.

“Keeping our parks, and natural areas, clean is important for the safety of visitors who are come here,” Hawes remarked. “It’s also important for the wildlife who live here as well!”

More volunteers head west, looking for rubbish, through the Foster Floodplain Natural Area.

The help provided to PP&R by volunteers continues to be vitally important, Hawes commented. “This is because we have limited staff to work at all the many parks we have in outer East Portland.

“We would not be able to keep the parks as clean, and in as good a condition, without the help we get from the community – so, we really appreciate all of the volunteers who come out to help,” Hawes said while driving her service truck along the trail to catch up with those already hard at work.

The only person missing from this “team photo” is the person who took it: The event’s organizer, PP&R’s Susan Hawes.

After it was over, Hawes reported that, during the two-hour cleanup that morning, a total of 14 volunteers (two of them teens) picked up, and safely removed, half a truck-full of trash – estimated in volume at 18 cubic feet.

If you’d like to volunteer with Portland Parks & Recreation, see their official webpage: CLICK HERE.

>> On our Front Page: Son and father, Stephen Wolf and Don Wolf, are ready to pick up trash!

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

 

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