Annual cleanup of Shawnee National Forest set for Oct. 7

Thursday, September 21, 2006

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If a little bit is good, a lot must be better.

That philosophy doesn't always hold true, but in terms of cleaning up Shawnee National Forest it seems to apply.

"For the past three years, starting in 2003, Tom Borchard from the Northwest Cook Group of the Illinois Sierra Club has been holding a Sierra Club outing to clean up at the Garden of the Gods," said Terri Treacy, the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club conservation field representative. "We got such a great reaction, we started thinking about expanding this to a communitywide project."

And, so, Shawnee Trash Bash was born.

The event will be held Oct. 7.

The Sierra Club has joined forces with Shawnee National Forest and the Beautify Southern Illinois Committee.

In the past, the cleanup effort has concentrated on Garden of the Gods. Volunteers fanned out from the parking lots and collected 25 to 30 bags of trash in a couple of hours in the immediate area of Garden of the Gods.

"Areas we'll concentrate on will be Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock, Pounds Hollow, Stone Face and Bell Smith Springs," Treacy said. "Depending on the turnout, we may have more areas."

She made it clear this cleanup involves bottles, cans, paper and other litter.

"This year we're not going to do large stuff like refrigerators," Treacy said. "That's kind of beyond the scope of our abilities at this time. Basically, it will be strolling through the woods carrying bags. We'll have two types of bags, one for trash and one for recyclables."

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