This weekend the Roaming Parkers and our local Scout Troop participated in the 2017 Pearl River Clean Sweep, in which volunteers went out to various sites in the 490 mile Pearl River Basin all the way from Nanih Waiya (where the Choctaw Nation emerged from the earth many moons ago) all the way down to the Gulf Coast.
The site we chose was Red Bluffs at Morgantown, Mississippi, where the road has collapsed into this totally remarkable little Grand Canyon of Mississippi. Our team of 11 picked up all the trash that we could reach in the parking area and within about 5 feet of the trail corridor all the way down to the river.
We separated trash, aluminum, and recyclable plastic and hauled off a trailer load but this truly just scratched the surface. There is an immense amount of tires and large items that would require a winch to remove (and we’re not even sure if the tires aren’t serving a valuable purpose in limiting erosion.)
We had numerous people stop us incredulous that we would be out on this trail hauling garbage out in the 93 degree heat. Elise made a point to give everyone we met on the trail a garbage bag and recruited them to the cause!
At the end of the day, when we were back at the top of the bluffs cleaning up the parking area, one old biker asked us if we were part of the same group that was way down at the bottom picking up trash. When we told him that was us, he couldn’t believe it.
He said he’d been coming out here for years and this is the cleanest he’s ever seen the trail.