Monday, October 12, 2020

Trash Forage - Prospect Park

I am organizing a different kind of walk for October 24th in Prospect Park: A Trash Forage. Instead of learning about edible plants, we will be helping the park by collecting the different kinds of trash people leave behind their sorry selves.

Please join me at 10.30am at the Wellhouse for two hours of trash grabbing-and-bagging, followed by a reward of cake. 

Tickets to reserve your spot are $25 and will be refunded to you in full after the walk, assuming you attended. 

We will be supported by the Prospect Park Alliance, the NGO whose unenviable job it is to take care of a vast public park that has seen unprecedented number of visitors during the pandemic. People have sought solace (and sometimes shelter) in the green space. At the same time the park has suffered unprecedented budget cuts by the City of New York. Even in normal times City funding of our public parks is shamefully minimal. 

"Although City parks make up 14% of NYC’s land, the Parks Department receives only 0.6% of the City’s total budget," writes Molly Fraser, on the website for the NYLCV (The New League of Conservation Voters). That is not a typo. Zero point six percent.

She continues: "Urban forests support the City’s environmental health, filtering out harmful pollutants, cooling temperatures, and supporting wildlife. In NYC, trees filter out an estimated 1,300 tons of pollutants, save nearly $94 million in health costs, capture 2 billion gallons of stormwater runoff, and store 1.2 million tons of carbon annually."

And how do you quantify the therapy, mental and physical, that the park has provided during the COVID crisis? 

The park has become everything to all people. Living room, bedroom, kitchen, work out area and yes, toilet. It needs help.

On our Trash Forage on Saturday the 24th we will meet to sign in, receive trash grabbers, bags and gloves. There will be cleaning supplies on hand but bring your own pocket sanitiser. Masks and social distancing are mandatory. 

After we have filled our bags we will clean our hands (again!) and gather for the freshly-baked cake in a nice kumbaya circle. 

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10 comments:

  1. What a brilliant idea, I hope it goes well. I'm much too far away to be of any help I'm afraid!!

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    1. Thank you! Maybe you have a local park that needs some TLC? We could make #trashforage a thing!

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  2. I would love to do this, but like A Smaller Life am too far away. Will be thinking good thoughts about all of you as you gather.

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  3. We do this several times a summer near our cabin. Public boat areas and Nat'l Forest got lots of visitors and lots of love. Unfortunately some not love also! Why do people come out for nature and natural beauty and then treat it like a garbage dump? I really don't understand the mindset and frankly selfishness of some people. But we have a good time and I know your walk will be successful and fun. We don't serve cake, maybe we should LOL

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    1. That is good to hear. Litter used to drive my father crazy, and he always picked up other people's trash if he saw it. I get mad, too. And it is complicated. Some of it is pure lack of education, some of it is bad behavior, some of it is defiance and disenfranchisement. I drove with a friend once who rolled down the window and tossed out a juice bottle she had been drinking. I nearly crashed the car. She came from a very different background and said, But the trash collectors will pick it up...

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  4. Could you do a post with how you keep your tiny apartment so clean when youre constantly working with plants?

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    1. Hm! Working outside I clean up with a little brush and dustpan. If I have to work with potting soil indoors I spread a layer of bags on the floor as a work surface. Otherwise, we don't wear shoes in the house, we wipe our feet when we come in from the terrace, and I vacuum once a week!

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  5. Thank you question was more about all the dried plants or little petals inside. Ive tried dry petals are like glitter.

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    1. Not sure how to answer. Clean up anything that falls? I don't keep dried plants or flowers inside.

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