Rangers ensure clean parks with Greenways clean up

AMANDA MARKS, Park Ranger Pickerington Ponds

Plastic and aluminum trash deposited alongside Greenway Trails after flooding
Masses of plastics and aluminum were deposited alongside Greenway Trails by flooding. (Amanda Marks)

As a ranger at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park in Canal Winchester, it’s my job to ensure that the park remains a safe and clean place for everyone to enjoy nature. With the recent heavy rains and snowfalls, we have seen a lot more trash washing into the park from roadways and construction sites. This issue is most widespread along the Greenway Trails. Most of these trails run alongside Central Ohio’s waterways, making them the last stop for waste runoff before entering important tributaries and rivers.

Blacklick Creek Greenway is a 16-mile trail that connects Pickerington Ponds Metro Park to Blacklick Woods Metro Park in Reynoldsburg and Three Creeks Metro Park in Groveport. The majority of this trail runs alongside Blacklick Creek, a major tributary of Big Walnut Creek. Big Walnut Creek supplies water to the Hoover Reservoir which holds 20.8 billion gallons and supplies the majority of residents within the northeast portion of Franklin County with clean water. To reduce the amount of trash making its way into Ohio’s reservoirs, it’s important to keep the land around our streams and rivers clean. Here at Pickerington Ponds, that means maintaining the cleanliness of the Blacklick Creek Greenway.

Irrigation pipes and other construction materials were swept into parks by flooding
More than 1,100-feet of irrigation pipes and other trash were collected from the Greenway Trails. (Amanda Marks)

While it may be very cold outside this time of year, winter provides the best conditions for trash removal. Since all the leaves have fallen from the trees and undergrowth, it’s much easier to see the litter scattered along the trails. So for the next few months, the rangers at Pickerington Ponds are working to clean the Blacklick Creek Greenway to protect our waterways and help to keep Central Ohio beautiful. This is an extensive project, but we hope to clean the majority of the trail before spring. So far we have removed approximately 350 gallons of plastic and over 1,100 feet of irrigation pipes (construction material) from the trail. However, this is just the beginning as there are many more miles to go and a lot more trash to pick up before spring arrives.

We hope that our visitors will help Metro Parks in our mission to clean the Greenways by disposing of trash properly, never throwing trash from vehicles and always recycling when possible. With the help of our community, we believe that we can keep our Greenways clean while also maintaining the beauty of our wonderful parks for future generations to enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Rangers ensure clean parks with Greenways clean up

  1. Hi Richard, thanks again for your offer to help with our cleanup. As I mentioned in the email to you, we have a cleanup scheduled at Scioto Grove Metro Park for April 14, 1-3:30pm, in partnership with REI. Register free at https://www.rei.com/event/scioto-grove-spring-cleanup/grove-city/200967.
    You could also try calling our Greenways team, on 614.202.5197, who would have information as it comes in of cleanups on the Greenway trails, including at Pickerington Ponds.. There are some public cleanup programs too, more details available online or in Parkscope magazine (see http://www.metroparks.net/about-us/parkscope/parkscope-spring-2018/ )These are at Blacklick Woods, Sun April 19, 1pm, a garlic mustard pull: Highbanks on Sat April 14, 9am (register at http://www.greencbus.org); Sharon Woods on Fri April 20, 6pm (register at http://www.earthdaycolumbus.org).

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