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Cleanup On Fountain

2013-11-16

Cleanup On Fountain

Mike and a lot of litter.

Results:

  • One kayak, one canoe, and one Canoemaran
  • 31 bags of collected litter
  • 8 wheels with tires (5 full-size, 3 spares)
  • 1 door (with 2 panes of intact glass)
  • 2 each: extinguishers, coolers, cooler lids, ride-on toys, frisbees
  • 1 zombie survival kit (9 arrows, one baseball bat, and a hockey helmet/mask)
  • And…

So, Saturday morning, Mike and I met up at Highland Road Park on a mission to attack the litter raft at blockage #7.  It was a beautiful day, and even the water was somewhat clear — you could see over a foot!  Mike was in his kayak, and I brought three canoes — two to assemble the Canoemaran, and one to tow it and carry our supplies (tools, bags, etc.).

Since it’s my birthday this week, I decided that it’d be fun to throw a slight addition in to the standard litter cleanup.  All balls would be collected separately in the tow canoe instead of simply being bagged with the rest of the litter.  It was a bit of a throwback to that classic cleanup where I ended with 177 balls from the Comite and Amite completely filling my canoe, although I didn’t think we’d get anywhere near that number with balls as simply a lagniappe side project.

The trailblazing work we did two weeks ago made it a rather easy trip down to the litter raft at #7, and the Canoemaran passed through all the former blockages without incident.  Our just-in-case tools didn’t come into play, so all our attention went toward the litter.  The water was flowing “upstream”, as bayous are wont to do on occasion, which spread some of the loose litter upstream, but we found the litter raft no less impressive.

Litter awaits.

Mike set up a camera for time lapse, and then we jumped right in.  Bag after bag was collected, and gradually the Canoemaran began to fill up.  At one point the landowner of the property on both sides of the bayou at the spot we were cleaning happened by on a tractor.  He seemed quite grateful for our efforts at cleaning up the bayou, and we were very happy to be there, as well.

After a long day of fighting our way through the logjam, collecting litter all the while, we called it a day and headed back in.  I had the gear and all the balls in my tow canoe, and I took a moment to arrange the Canoemaran’s load for a nice photo op.  Mike took some video to show what it looks like underway.  It looks slow motion in parts, but the video is unadulterated.

Normally I tow with a kayak, but we used a canoe this time so we’d have plenty of room for the tools and supplies.  It’s a bit more work to tow with the canoe, but it does make for a nice photo op from up on the bank back at the park.

Hauling it out

The hardest part always seems to be hauling everything up the bank and over to the pickup location, but we managed.  Oh, and how many balls did we collect this time?  Did we break the old record of 177?  Youbetcha!  Although there were few basketballs, soccer balls, and other large balls, in pure number of balls collected, we *smashed* the old record.  The new record for balls collected on a single day is now… 192… *and a half*! (One hard solid plastic ball was distinctly just a half, which made the count that much more entertaining.)

To compare an contrast, here’s an animated GIF of the before-and-after at the main litter raft.  There’s a considerable amount of floating wood left, not to mention plenty of floating muck, but the vast amounts of litter are no more.  The blockage will take a bit of manual labor to shift the logs about to make it easily passable, but it looks *so* much better as wood and muck than it did as a litter raft.  Until next time, then.

Before And After (animated)

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