PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

What do you get when you Capture the Trash?

Posted by ppna on April 12, 2008

Trashiest Team Trophy

Today was the day when volunteers were asked to report to Riverside Park and ‘Capture the Trash’ and that is exactly what I did. I was disappointed by the lack of turnout from fellow PPNA residents. To start the day there were only 5 of us and 3 had to leave after the first hour leaving 2 PPNA trash collectors. Don’t worry we did more than our share and captured the prized ‘Trashiest Team’ trophy.

All in all the event was a great success but support from the community was weak. Surprisingly EMU picked up the slack. In fact, I will give all the credit to EMU. Around 50 students showed up compared to 10 or so community residents (Including my 5). The event got off to a disorganized start but I think those in charge did a great job keeping it together and learning as they went. Aubrees and Pub 13 were kind enough to provide Pizza, Pop and Salad for the participants and EMU donated the prizes and I think Everyone walked away with something. Erik, the new director, of the DTCDC was the only person who showed up from that group and its vast list of supporters. I would have hoped at least all of the principles from the DTCDC would be there to show support for the parks that they now control.

It should also be noted that EMU is forced to put on events like this to receive ‘Storm Water Runoff Credits’ which are intended to try to offset unintentional polluters via storm drains.

The Highlights of the day included:

  • The parks are noticeably cleaner. All groups combined picked up enough trash to fill the city of Ypsilanti’s flatbed driven by a city employee who volunteered his time.
  • “Team Family Values” which was a Mother, Father, and 10 year old daughter, Their main mission was to pick up condoms from the park which in total they picked up 17.
  • “Team Smoot”, my team, which picked up 20 bags of trash
  • “Team Cute Girls” — Not sure what there name was but they surprised me with sticking to the end and picking up trash.
  • Only one needle found and no crack baggies

By picking up trash you certainly can get a good idea of what goes on in the parks after dark.

  • The stairs in the middle of frog island is where most of the condoms, bras and panties were found so you know that is a hot hooker spot although our neighborhood police rep told us that they have since cleared prostitutes out of the Frog Island parking lot.
  • People that drink water are just as big litter bugs as the drunks
  • There are a lot of drunks that drink a wide variety of liquor especially in the wooded hill of riverside park.
  • A lot of sleds met their doom on the 4 hills this past winter.
  • Geese don’t like people picking up trash.
  • The people that plant by the freighthouse don’t clean up after themselves there were a lot of rotten plastic plant holders scattered about.  I think the Friends of the Freighthouse need to capture the trash around it.

Here are the things I thought could be improved on.

I think the DTCDC should have worked more. I think they should have come out as a large team and I don’t think they approached enough Depot Town businesses for prizes since only Aubrees donated from Depot Town and I would be shocked if Lynda French (of Sidetracks) or Jim (Cafe Luwak) would have turned them down.

There was no hand sanitizer or way to wash your hands or anywhere to go to the bathroom. I think next year they should have the bathrooms open (hopefully they function).

They need to divide teams into trash teams and recycle teams or at least have teams keep separate bags. This is something I thought of way to late to do myself (only team Cute Girls divided but I think it all ended up the same anyway). I would guess that 70% of total trash was made up of recyclable material which was heading to the dump not the recycle center. They could also use this opportunity to instruct people on what is recyclable.

I would like to thank everyone who showed up, sponsored, or planned the event.  I would like to ask that those who didn’t show up sign up for YpsiPride Day in May. The group in whole was able to substantially clean Frog Island and Riverside Parks and also worked to clean around the Freighthouse, all of the Depot Town parking lots, along the river even on the North side of the Forest Ave bridge and Motor Wheel Fence.

I plan to be back next year to defend our trophy so look out.


3 Responses to “What do you get when you Capture the Trash?”

  1. Be sure to get in touch with us next year. We are always willing to donate for things like this.

  2. Robin Miller said

    Hi Team Smoot!

    Thank you for all of your wonderful feedback on Capture the Trash. We had a lot of fun putting together the event and an event better time running it. I agree with you that we got off to a bit of a disorganized start, but boy did we learn from the process. We will definitely take your remarks into account as we begin planning future events.

    Y’all were OUTSTANDING in your dedication to cleaning up the parks. I hope that Capture the Trash 2009 can be even bigger and better! You will have to work hard to defend your trophy!

    Thanks again,
    Robin Miller
    GREEN Student Coordinator
    Eastern Michigan University

  3. Angie said

    I think you are right that it is a shame that more people didn’t get involved. Not that I can talk, I didn’t come either. We need to be proud of our Ypsi and take care of it.

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