17 February 2014

Hundred Instances of Trash Pickup About Omaha

While birding among many sorts of urban Omaha environs, sometimes an alternative purpose got more attention, because there was an unwanted feature among the places where the birds occurred. Since trash is an unwanted, unsightly scourge, on multiple instances time was taken to pickup the debris, a piece at a time. This might have included focus on removing items from Happy Hollow Creek or Wood Creek in eastern Omaha, which is an especially messy effort because of the association of water and mud, often with tepid steps on unstable tree debris to reach a place where the trash could be reached for removal. On days of this sort, the garb worn was immediately thrown into the washing machine upon getting back to the house.

It seemed rather apropos that the 100th instance occurred at such a significant place, associated with so many visits. A plastic trash can at the Northwest Pond, was moved from the interior extent of the space to the curbside. It wouldn't fit over an area sign, in an attempt to indicate something. A short distance to the south, a big pile of tires still needs to be removed from the western extent of Levi Carter Park, for instance. It was described to the park man ten days ago.

The park caretaker is undeniably attentive to the ongoing trashing, destruction, vandalism and disregard that occurs weekly at Levi Carter Park. As a result of many discussions, his intent is to have a clean park, yet, the community makes it difficult.

These are the hundred records of remembered instances when trash was removed from community spaces.

  1. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 02/13/2014; removed a big bag of trash during winter walk-about, which included some plastic bags, asphalt roof shingles; effort done done because there was a big, empty dog food bag in which to stuff things; results weredeposited in a nearby park trash barrel; there was also a thought that if birders from Lincoln came to the park, as scheduled for Sunday (the 17th), they could enjoy the wild birds rather than looking as the unwanted trash. Of course, the group did not visit this place, the only specifically designated natural area in the entire park. Its obvious that they were not aware of this space to enjoy.

    It's hard to keep this place clean because of the adjacent Omaha Paper Stock business which can't keep their products upon their property. A significant extent of trash, including plastic bags, etc., is carried by winds to adjacent places, including onto places northwest of Levi Carter Park.
  2. Browne Street Woods; 12/03/2013; a few items of debris added to trash from the pond
  3. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 12/03/2013; one well-stuffed small plastic bag of trash removed, along with a piece of a plastic crate
  4. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 11/20/2013; during first a.m. at just this site for grass seed spreading; personally for cleanup purposes, like concrete blocks; bunch of trash removed; additional work by Public Works employees; story and pictures at Wildbirds Broadcasting; 3 errant cedars pulled
  5. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 11/18/2013; one plastic bag of trash and three miscellaneous items removed and placed at the nearby curb place for removal
  6. Levi Carter Pond; 04/24/2013; removed trash from northern extent of tree line which was then placed in a pile along adjacent street
  7. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 04/24/2013; removed trash from water and pulled three errant cedar trees
  8. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 04/13/2013; picked up trash about this place and heard this bird
  9. Levi Carter Park; 04/13/2013; at the park environs from 6:45 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., with most of the later time spent picking up trash in association with community effort
  10. Carthage; 01/02/2013; during an 8:15 a.m. walk northward, with some sidewalks icy; after placing trash and recyclables at the curb for the days' pickup
  11. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 11/30/2012; plastic bag of trash and three larger pieces of plastic that were removed with specific intent
  12. Happy Hollow Creek; 11/25/2012; removed about ten pink marker flags from west side of creek, remaining from summer project, but now trash
  13. South Grove, Wood Creek; 11/25/2012; removed a couple of errant plastic bags, which were trash
  14. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 11/25/2012; near bridge west of grotto; removed construction laths, now trash from former botany spring area
  15. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 11/25/2012; removed a good-sized plastic bag stuffed with plastic bottle trash from creek near Wood Duck point, eastward of the drained pond
  16. Happy Hollow Creek; 10/31/2012; removed two small plastic bags of trash and eight old, pink marker flags
  17. Levi Carter Park; 10/21/2012; on a tree on the west side; several big items of trash nearby were taken to the trash cans, including a drawer, two pallets, a blanket, carpet remnants and a seat from the west side of the meadow
  18. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 10/15/2012; removed a tire, seven pieces of larger plastic items, and several smaller items of trash
  19. Levi Carter Park; 10/15/2012; at southwest meadow; one bag of trash removed
  20. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 10/10/2012; removed one plastic bag of trash while doing afternoon bird survey
  21. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 09/30/2012; removed large piece of carpet and some pieces of trash
  22. Northwest Pond Natural Wildlife Area; 09/23/2012; removed tire and pallet trash before returning focus to birding
  23. Izard Industrial Zone; 09/22/2012; a fine evening at the CenturyLink building chimney; picked up a bunch of trash along street on the way back to the residence; especially westward of Radial Highway; it will look better in the morning
  24. Wood Creek Pond; 07/14/2012; noted before pulling trash from creek nearby at Wood Duck Point; three lumber pieces and plastic bag two-thirds full
  25. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 07/14/2012; nest noted under bridge while removing trash in vicinity; plastic bag 2/3 full and three lumber pieces
  26. Elmwood Park Meadow; 07/14/2012; seen while walking to undertake more trash removal - focused on the creek where no one else went - as a park volunteer; had to deal with no trash bags on VIP trailer
  27. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 03/14/2012; picked up can trash nearby
  28. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 03/14/2012; birds' expression enjoyed while picking up beer can trash at the bridge near the mosquito box
  29. Levi Carter Park; 01/18/2012; piled up some unremoved trash in northwest corner of Levi Carter Park, east of the railroad tracks and pic sent to Parks department and Omaha mayor
  30. Spring Lake Park; 01/10/2012; picked up one stuffed plastic bag of trash; also took away other errant trashy items, including a thrown-away cell phone, around the big flowing spring; some plastic bags gone; results place by swimming pool building as no other trash cans about
  31. Elmwood Park Ravine; 05/20/2011; picked up one more than full plastic grocery bag of trash; from one spot
  32. Elmwood Park Ravine; 01/05/2011; a bit of trash picked up
  33. Elmwood Park Ravine; 10/17/2010; one bag of trash removed from tree-limb fort just north of tree trunk crossing; branches were torn asunder, and trash gathered; a campfire was ready to ignite, with paper to start the flame, and tinder in a proper place
  34. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/24/2010; heard while removing one small plastic bag of trash
  35. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/17/2010; bird heard at construct site while removing trash and associated debris
  36. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 04/14/2010; removed four bags of trash, mostly gathered plastic bottles, plus one pallet where thrasher seen, and tore down one limb fort
  37. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/14/2010; two bags of trash removed; plus one bag of trash including thrown about beer bottles, 1 long 2x4 and one shovel head removed from construct
  38. Happy Hollow Creek; 04/11/2010; one plastic bag of trash removed
  39. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 04/11/2010; one plastic bag of trash removed, mostly plastic bottles
  40. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/11/2010; one plastic bag of trash, 4 16' 2x4s and 2 12' 2x4s, a hand saw and three foot long axe removed; construct material thrown over swimming pool fence
  41. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 04/05/2010; a pair on the creek bank; while Ralph, park worker, and I removed trash that filled a 55 gallon contained 1/2 full from creek just east of grotto, by street underpass; got the flow going much better by throwing out a bunck of limbs, and a four foot 2x4
  42. Fairacres; 04/03/2010; vultures soaring above the tree roost to the west in the evening; at Memorial Park, removed seven notecards from trees in east park (F5 on one) and three dog-missing signs taped to posts, with all thrown into the trash
  43. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/03/2010; new tree swing mostly cut off and all but one wood steps nailed to tree removed and placed in almost filled trash receptacle near the swimming pool; tree with rope swing cut off on 31 March 2010 had fallen down and into the creek
  44. Happy Hollow Creek; 04/02/2010; a pair of wood ducks noted along the creek after removing one bag of trash, mostly plastic bottles that had already been thrown on the bank yesterday during flow improvement interlude, and three shoes, each different, including a youth size
  45. Wood Creek, Memorial Park; 04/02/2010; two pairs of wood ducks at pool just south of Underwood Ave. scared away upon arrival to pickup trash, with one stuffed plastic bag of mostly plastic sacks, was picked up and removed because of expected rain which would wash the stuff further downstream
  46. Elmwood Park Ravine; 03/31/2010; removed one bag of miscellaneous trash; cut down reachable portion of rope swing after picking up trash at the party place, partially demolished a new fort that has been built
  47. Wood Creek, Memorial Park; 03/31/2010; removed one bag of trash, mostly plastic, including several bottles from within the creek
  48. Elmwood Park Ravine; 03/18/2010; one big plastic bag of trash removed
  49. Happy Hollow Creek; 03/18/2010; one small plastic bag of trash removed, mostly plastic taken from creek, with flow work also done
  50. Elmwood Park Ravine; 12/05/2009; removed one small plastic bag of trash
  51. Happy Hollow Creek; 12/05/2009; removed one large plastic bag of trash from in and along the creek at several places especially
  52. Happy Hollow Creek; 12/01/2009; one stuffed small plastic bag of trash removed
  53. Wood Creek, Memorial Park; 12/01/2009; one well filled bag of trash removed
  54. Elmwood Park Ravine; 12/01/2009; one stuffed bag of trash removed
  55. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 12/01/2009; six grocery-sized plastic bags of trash removed, including on south side of creek; had to empty it three times at one area in order to get it all removed; also collapsed a hut of limbs where beer bottles were present
  56. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 11/27/2009; one well-stuffed small plastic bag of trash removed
  57. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 11/27/2009; picked up a bag of trash after noting small plastic bag flapping in the wind and snagging it to use as a receptacle for unwanted stuff that ended up in the trash can
  58. Elmwood Park Ravine; 11/27/2009; removed one small plastic bag of trash; threw out some apple pieces
  59. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 11/22/2009; well-filled small plastic bag of trash removed down the creek, especially from the grotto to the bridge
  60. Elmwood Park Ravine; 11/22/2009; heard; removed one small plastic bag stuffed with trash and one big traffic cone from the creek waters
  61. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 11/21/2009; removed one small plastic bag of trash, and a few other items that would not fit
  62. Elmwood Park Ravine; 11/13/2009; visit during 1 p.m. hour; a few pieces of trash picked up
  63. Elmwood Park Ravine; 11/01/2009; picked up small plastic bag of trash
  64. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 11/01/2009; removed a small plastic bag of creek-side trash
  65. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 11/01/2009; removed plastic bag a bit bigger than grocery size of trash, plus an additional beer box of bottles and other miscellany that would fit
  66. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 08/03/2009; at bridge, while removing trash: three Sunday newspapers in plastic bags in creek, which were promptly thrown into a trash container
  67. Happy Hollow Creek; 07/25/2009; removed small plastic bag of trash
  68. Happy Hollow Creek; 07/14/2009; a handful of trash items removed
  69. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 06/13/2009; heard while removing three plastic bags of trash, plus errant lumber, from the creek on organized park cleanup day
  70. Elmwood Park Ravine; 06/12/2009; trash removed was two six packs of beer bottles, and paper sack
  71. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 06/04/2009; picked up plastic grocery bag of trash
  72. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 05/30/2009; picked up from along the creek a plastic grocery bag of trash that was well stuffed and removed from the creek and adjacent flow-way
  73. Happy Hollow Creek; 05/30/2009; removed a hefty plastic grocery bag of trash, mostly plastic, taken mostly from the creek
  74. South Grove, Wood Creek; 05/30/2009; removed a stuffed grocery-sized bag of trash, plus a couple of bigger pieces of plastic that would not fit within
  75. Elmwood Park Ravine; 05/25/2009; heard while picking up a large trash bag of litter from in the creek
  76. Elmwood Park Pines; 05/02/2009; heard while cleaning up a plastic grocery bag of trash along the needless roadway
  77. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/25/2009; picked up a grocery-sized plastic bag of trash
  78. Happy Hollow Creek; 04/19/2009; cut down two errant cedar trees and picked up a few pieces of trash
  79. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/17/2009; removed a small bag of trash; also some roadside bits picked up later from the pine grove to the west
  80. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 04/17/2009; removed a small plastic bag of trash, including plastic bags from wetland
  81. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/11/2009; removed limbs, wood and trash from the creek east of the swimming pool; done to rid wates of trash and limbs to restore a better water flow
  82. Botany Spring, Wood Creek; 04/09/2009; barely noticed while getting trash picked up
  83. Botany Spring, Wood Creek; 04/08/2009; noted while cleaning trash for picture of phoebe neighbourhood at the bridge across the flowing waters
  84. Botany Spring, Wood Creek; 04/08/2009; while picking up trash for phoebe picture
  85. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 03/29/2009; flushed while removing a bag of trash from south end to south point of the lake vicinity
  86. Elmwood Park Ravine; 03/15/2009; heard during hour picking up trash along street on the west side
  87. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 12/11/2008; cleaned up one plastic grocery bag of trash
  88. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 12/11/2008; cleaned up three grocery bags of trash while going along; also removed one errant cooler
  89. Elmwood Park Ravine; 12/11/2008; cleaned up four grocery bags of trash, plus a plastic bucket full and a thrown-away auto console
  90. Happy Hollow Creek; 12/11/2008; cleaned up two grocery bags of trash, including trash from sunken gardens
  91. Happy Hollow Creek; 11/27/2008; seen twice during a two-hour trash cleanup, including getting plastic out of the creek
  92. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 11/23/2008; heard while removing trash bag of last weekend, remaining due to bag that ripped and thus prevented removal
  93. Elmwood Park Ravine; 11/23/2008; they were bathing, while my time was birding and gathering a hefty bag of trash
  94. Happy Hollow Creek; 11/23/2008; picked up relicts of trash on the west side, left from events of last weekend
  95. Wood Creek, Elmwood Park; 11/23/2008; heard while removing some trash
  96. Memorial Park; 11/16/2008; mostly picked up a large bag of trash
  97. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 04/19/2008; during trash cleanup endeavours by community activists
  98. Elmwood Park Ravine; 04/19/2008; heard while clearing trash on the day of Omaha's Earth day celebration
  99. Shadow Lake, Elmwood Park; 12/03/2005; winter wren heard while doing video, moving some trash items to under the pedestrian bridge
  100. Spring Lake Park; 11/10/2003; moved out eight tires, seven bags of trash and other items

There may have been other incidental occurrences of this sort, but they were likely lesser efforts not specifically noted in any regard.

There will perhaps be additional occurrences of this sort to to continue my personal work, and that is what it takes to have a clean environment, so that the some Omaha urban spaces have a lesser extent of trash.