Even though we are known as “The Natural State,” there’s a lot of unnatural objects and litter that make their way into our ecosystem.
This week’s Adventure Arkansas takes us to Devil's Den and Lee Creek to highlight the army of volunteers helping to keep our parks beautiful for everyone.
For 10 years, every weekend after Labor Day has seen hundreds of volunteers descending on Lee Creek and Devil's Den to make a dent in the war on litter.
Devil's Den State Park interpreter, Terry Elder, has seen the state come together for the cause.
“Over that 10 years, we’ve had 1,800 volunteers to donate their time and they have collected over 13 TONS of trash here and that’s just within this area,” said Elder. “So that’s a lot of stuff that’s not in our environment anymore.”
The Boston Mountain Solid Waste District has been coordinating the cleanup effort since the beginning. Director Robyn Reed says volunteers come from all over with a common mission.
“Crawford County Search and Rescue have come out every year; they’ve been the one group here every year, said Reed. “The Church of Latter Day Saints comes out every year and we have several other church groups. School organizations come out and then we also have several canoe clubs and other outdoor organizations come out.”
Among the teams, a group from Anheuser Busch even collected car parts including floor mats and a tire in the creek.
The University of Arkansas Crop Soil Environmental Club picked up several bags of litter, ranging from beer bottles to diapers.
Madison Brown with the club said volunteering like this is vital to keep the Natural State, natural.
"It’s so important because we found so much stuff just in this one area,” said Brown. “You can imagine just how many acres of space like this Arkansas has and how much work it actually needs.”
Terry Elder with Devil's Den State Park said the work the volunteers do pays off for everyone.
"We don’t want that stuff going downstream and all the trash and problems it causes with the water,” said Elder. “With the efforts of the volunteers, they’ve done a great job for 10 years."
And every little bit helps.
"Any time you come out here, any piece of trash you leave out is gonna affect some aspect of the environment,” said Brown. “You just have to remember that you are very important and that you can cause a mess but you can also clean it up just as easily.”
If you want to help make your park and community cleaner, tag along in the events of The Great Arkansas Cleanup this fall.
Local Great Arkansas Cleanup Events:
To View the Full Calendar Click Here!
Segment Sponsored By: Adventure Subaru