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Trash dumping concerns in Chico

City officials and community members expressed concern about the long term effects of debris found in waterways and parks.

Posted: Feb 26, 2020 8:17 PM

CHICO, Calif. - City officials and community members expressed concern about the long term effects of debris found in waterways and parks.

"Call it instant gratification but I know I'm making a difference," said Michael Hicks, a volunteer with the Chico P.A.L.S. (partners ambassadors leaders and stewards). "There was just a big increase in all of our parks and waterways we can't just argue about this stuff we have to pick it up."

The video shows one of the three trucks the group filled with trash after cleaning out the Comanche Creek Greenway in just one day.

"We're keeping two to three truckloads and two trailers out of the creek it's important for me and all of us who walk along that creek," Liz Stewart, another volunteer said.

Stewart is apart of another volunteer group called Friends of Comanche Creek Greenway. She spends three hours every Wednesday beautifying the park.

"I want them to feel this is a pretty place that it's well taken care of and heavens knows it isn't,"  she said.

Chico's Park and Natural Resource Manager, Linda Herman says the long term effects aren't known yet. No studies have been done, but they can strive to prevent negatives by maintaining the up-keep now.

"I know there's long term effects I know it's not healthy for the soil here you don't want to sit down and have a picnic where there's been trash sitting over the years so we have to clean it so people can enjoy it," Stewart said.

"I think we are standing up we partner with them we usually have our staff there our park rangers will notice the camps ahead of time so people have the opportunity to move along or pick up their belongings before we go in," Herman said.

Herman says they dispose of about 40 cubic yards of trash twice a week. That's over 300 of your 13-gallon kitchen trash bags.

"We're also earning in-kind dollars for future park projects these grants you ready about like this park here received a million-dollar grant recently, half of those grants we earned because of people like me," Hicks said.

Hicks says with the 7,000 acres of park-land Chico has, there comes some responsibility as a neighbor.

"Community service doesn't mean stop when things get difficult we need to increase our efforts rather than just complain about things," he said.

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