Citywide cleanup event targets 35 parks in Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, me. – Dozens of volunteers have spent their day picking up trash and beautifying parks in Grand Rapids.
In one place, they were more focused on getting rid of invasive plants.
“They always say, ‘Leave it as you found it,” said one volunteer.
But not everyone listens. In fact, some just throw their trash wherever they want and don’t even think about the environment.
Because of this, Grand Rapids volunteers spent their Saturday spring cleaning in several parks.
“The parks are a great asset to our city and our neighborhoods. It’s routinely one of the things that brings people to a city, ”said Andrew Wahlstrom, a board member of the Creston Neighborhood Association.
He and about 30 other volunteers were out in Huff Park to beautify the landscape.
“It’s great for us as a community to get rid of either trash or, in this case, invasive species,” said Wahlstrom.
He helped throw some garlic mustard plants, which are easy to spread and destructive.
“Smells like a good dish made from Italian spaghetti,” said one volunteer.
Andrew informs people of the species and tells them if you see it in your yard or park it is okay to pull it out and throw it away.
“Each of these plants can grow up and produce 800 seeds, which then fall to the ground and can rest for 7 to 10 years,” said Wahlstrom. Of this, but sparsely populated, it will prevent it from getting out of hand. “
Saturday’s cleanup was put together by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and it was the first “It’s My Parks” day, focused on 35 locations across the city.
“These are our public spaces, these are parking spaces; Let’s get out there and be in them, ”said Lauren Davis, urban forest manager at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks. “Let’s take care of her; Let’s be a resource that helps people get involved with their parking space. We are fortunate to have 75 of them in our city. “
Sometimes they are littered with trash.
“I’ve seen quite a few take-out containers, which is likely the result of COVID,” Wahlstrom said. “More happens to take-away these days, but those styrofoam bins never fail, so these are especially important to get in the trash.”
“If you don’t have trash cans and you know there’s a place,” said Davis, “as a community member, if you have a park and there’s always trash in one place, let the city know. It’s like, “Hey, can you put a trash can here?” I think there are some solutions by speaking to both your neighbors and members of the community and contacting the city if there is a garbage problem. What can we do about it other than ignore it or be crazy about it? “
“If you love this park and it is green and free of rubbish, leave it that way,” said Wahlstrom.
The group cleaned up Friday and Saturday. For more volunteer events, click here.
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