ROANOKE, Va. – During the pandemic, parks and outdoor venues gained more attraction, but the increase in people also means more trash is being left behind.
That’s why a dozen Roanoke residents signed up to get a little dirty to help the environment on Saturday morning. Slipping on gloves and grabbing trash bags, people spread out at Washington Park and searched Lick Run Greenway to pick up trash.
Volunteers had to dig deep to collect all the cigarette buds and food wrappers left behind. As a member of Roanoke Valley’s Troop 51-G, 14-year-old Rachelle Moran said on most days, you can find her collecting litter.
“This is my community, and I feel like if I come out here [when] younger, then it will be something I will become passionate about and continue doing in my future,” she said. “And I definitely see myself doing that.”
In three hours, the volunteers collected about 10 full bags of trash, a big help for the city’s parks and recreation department.
“The parks department is super busy and those folks are super dedicated and great folks,” said City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation Outdoor Instructor Brendle Wolfe. “But yeah, all the help we can get is greatly appreciated.”
Wolfe also helps maintain trails in Roanoke County and is noticing more trash accumulating on popular trails like Mcafee Knob Trail. She said volunteers have removed odd items like Christmas trees and even a couch from the trail.
Moran said it warms her heart to see more people take time to make a difference.
“To see the whole community pitching in a little bit, that just means the world to me,” she said. “See that other people care.”
The next cleanup day will be at Wasena Park next week.