The Friends monthly business meeting is a place where not only the ongoing business of the group is planned and organized, but also a place where ideas for new activities are spawned. A lament, expressed openly in the meeting, about the accumulation of small trash items in the public areas, led to a discussion of park staffing and responsibilities, and then to the idea of a new volunteer activity to deal with the problem. Members Matt and Rachel were willing to accept the challenge, and so the Micro-Trash Meetup was created.
A ramble around the picnic and pavilion areas shows how successful this meetup has been. Where there were cigarette butts, bottle caps, bits of plastic, and so on and on, these are now rare. Those who contributed their time to this effort can be proud of their accomplishment. This activity also spawned another idea, to provide the park with cigarette butt receptacles. That idea was matched with an opportunity to obtain a grant for park beautification. The grant application to Keep Virginia Beautiful was approved, so we will soon have the receptacles available to the smokers who visit the park.
Helping the smokers keep the park clean is a small step, but the need for micro-trash volunteers continues in all seasons. Check on Meetup for an opportunity to help, or just bring along a bag on your next visit to the park and spend a few minutes picking up litter where you find it.