3.18.2004

Don't Just Take, Give
It is pretty simple, if all we do is take and we never replace, then there will be nothing left; ruins...just ruins; one big wasteland, just a massive landfill. The world is too small for us to strip away, move along, and strip away again. Hundreds of years ago farmers learned this and started to rotate the crops. There are some minor steps in the modern age that people are starting to implement such as recycling, but there needs to be more, that needs to become a given. In my day to day activities I find that it is more a matter to try and get people to maintain the basics, to try and have their impact to be as minor as possible, to have concepts of recycling become part of a mindless routine; a given. Sadly, this is not how people approach it; most people see it as a hassle. Does your work place recycle? I do not think mine does! It is something I want to get active on ASAP! We all create a great deal of trash/waste, much of which can be recycled, this is a minimum.

let me try and finish this thought

as a dog owner who hikes in the woods and as a cyclist that prefers to mountain bike I find that it is my duty not just to take, but also to give back.
the impact of the user is clear. in my short life I have seen the trails decline. mountain biking has grown to be more popular, what was single track in now double track, and what was double track in now tracked out. the foot trials are wider, fallen trees have cause people to make trail options around the obstacles. the only problem is that different people created different paths, so now there are more trails. soon the surrounding woods of Rock Creek Park will be large clay dirt mounds, stripped of all fertile soil, absent of any form of vegetation. so, what are we to do. well, the easiest thing is to STAY ON THE TRAIL! Do not bisect the trail, do not go wide around obstacles, do not walk the edge of the path to go around a puddle, simply STAY ON THE TRAIL. Now, it is absurd for me to say, keep your dog on a leash, cause I am not going to attempt that myself, but witness your pet's impact. Perhaps we need to compensate for that. Replanted INDIGENOUS plants. Replace missing soil maybe a good idea. Often while walking these trails I day dream about spearheading a project where the trail users volunteer a weekend to rebuild the trail. To give back to what gives so much to us. It is usually the same set of ideas....having soil delivered via dump truck to a number of trail heads and moving the soil about and planting some plants, everyone's working together. But, this is just a daydream, so until then I do some ROGUE TRAIL MAINTENANCE! Without tools I have created sets of stairs, anti erosion barriers, and the classic Nature Nazi trail blockade! (that is where I through branches and debrie over a section of trail that should not be used for whatever reason, usually because it is an unnecessary short cut)

back to work
more on this later

for some people all we can ask is that when they pull over to finish their 40ozer and their bag of chips that their place their waste in a trash can, rather than tossing it into the woods
or
the contractor who is too lazy to go to the dump takes his trash to a dumpster rather than the gulley in the woods
or
the yearly Christmas tree people who in the night dump their tree and wreath in the woods
all we ask is that these people and people like them choose common sense
I have seen these folks in the act, they look and act guilty, they know it is wrong
yet they persist

a few people clean up
many people use the trails
and an even greater number abuse the trails

here in the urban environment we need to take care what little "green space" we have
the longer we let it decline
the greater the likelihood of it being lost all together

it is wonderful that Rock Creek Park is in its natural state
but its current state is decline

no one would have imagined that the world population would grow like this
the city was not planned with such growth in mind
the natural state of our parks is more determined by the lazy state of park service

[by no means am I perfect....but I do try to keep my trash under control, we recycle, we clean up the park and alley around our house, we dispose of trash properly (batteries, toxins, paint to the right collection agencies)
but with two young boys we have diapers, juice boxes, and all sorts of consumer goods....we are not Amish....heck, we are not even minimalists...but we try to do our part on the basic level]

oh
other than my rogue trail maintenance...
I also try to do some trial maintenance days with MORE
and have been trying to organize some trail days on the local ROCK CREEK trails

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