Volunteers clean up mess at High Rocks Park

Trash, cigarette butts, even abandoned furniture littered the area

Volunteers cleaned up High Rocks Park on August 13, 2016. (KOIN)

GLADSTONE, Ore (KOIN) — Volunteers gathered at High Rocks Park on August 13 for the inaugural “High Rocks Summer Cleanup.”

Volunteers cleaned up High Rocks Park on August 13, 2016. (KOIN)
Volunteers cleaned up High Rocks Park on August 13, 2016. (KOIN)

When extreme heat hits in the summer, people flock to the area, but often leave behind a huge mess. Trash, cigarette butts, even abandoned furniture and clothes littered the area before volunteers spent several hours scouring it.

SOLVE is the leading force behind the cleanup, with a helping hand from Clackamas County Water Environment Services. Clackamas County Commission Chair John Ludlow was among those out cleaning.

“As you can see, a lot of stuff has been left behind and we want to make sure that doesn’t run into the river here,” SOLVE program manager Quintin Bauer said. “Especially as we get into the fall and the rain starts, this could all run into the river here and that could cause problems for animal and wildlife.”

The cities of Gladstone and Oregon City spearheaded the effort and coordinated with SOLVE to make it happen.

“Our rivers take care of us and we need to take care of them, so sometimes we have to put in a little extra effort, pull the community together in a really, truly collaborative way,” Ron Wierenga with Clackamas County Water Environment Services said.

Graffiti at High Rocks Park. (KOIN)
Graffiti at High Rocks Park. (KOIN)

Along with removing litter, the county is exploring ways to reduce the graffiti problem at High Rocks.

“It’s really, definitely a good example to set,” Bauer said. “To get the area cleaned up so people don’t see it as an area that it’s OK to litter in.”

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