Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, last year Missaukee Conservation District was able to fill a 30-yard (super big) dumpster with tires, furniture, and other random trash cleaned up from the Cadillac Pathways forest area. The pathway is more than hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. There are numerous ORV trails throughout the area, and these trails are also easily accessed by trucks or other road vehicles. Yard waste gets dumped. Broken furniture gets dumped. Tires get dumped. It can be difficult to find a place to recycle or reuse these large items. Dumping them in the forest is not a good solution. Through our forest clean up (which ideally won’t be an annual event) we hope to raise awareness about the misuse of public lands and the importance of keeping them free from trash and yard waste.
Okay, why can’t a person dump their yard waste wherever? It’s just leaves and sticks, and there are leaves and sticks in the forest, right? Indeed, there are leaves and sticks in the forest. The forest doesn’t need any extra detritus (dead stuff) to try and break down, it has plenty. More importantly, yard waste often has seeds and plant material that is not native to the natural forest. Invasive species can be introduced through yard waste and that would be a whole other beast to tame–more time, more resources, more money, more sad forest.
Help the Missaukee Conservation District clean up and spread the message about respecting our public lands. Saturday May 13, 9 am to 2 pm. A member of the Traverse Narcotics Team will give a short safety presentation in the morning. Come for a couple hours, or come all day–we love and appreciate all that our volunteers do! Trucks are welcome to help pick up these large items. Call 231.839.7193 for more information, or just show up!