Park cleared of 3 dozen bags of trash

Published 12:01 am Saturday, October 15, 2016

NORCO — As part of the International Coastal Clean-Up, coordinated locally by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 84 volunteers with the Wetland Watchers Project recently cleaned up trash along the nature trails and shoreline at St. Charles Parish Wetland Watchers Park.

Thirty-nine full bags of trash and lots of junk were collected, including many dirty diapers that visitors threw off of the nature trail.

“The majority of our visitors care about the park and the wetlands it is located in,” said Watchers Project founder Barry Guillot, a Harry M. Hurst Middle School teacher.

“I have always been a person who wants to leave a place better than when I arrived, so I cannot imagine leaving all of my trash for someone else to pick it up.”

Eighth grader Savannah McReynolds said picking up trash at Wetland Watchers Park was important to because the trash pollutes the animals’ environment.

“All of that trash makes it hard for animals to live and thrive,” she said

Much of the collected trash is known to be fatal to animals, which could ingest water bottle caps and cigarette butts, suffocate in plastic bags or become trapped by discarded fishing line, according to Guillot.

Volunteers picked up 133 plastic bags, 335 water bottle caps and 198 plastic bottles.

Eighth grader Riley Duffaut was happy to participate because she thinks it teaches children to pick up after themselves.

“I think it is sad to see people just throw trash in the wetlands because they are destroying the environment,” she said.

There are trash containers throughout the front area of the park that are emptied regularly by the St. Charles Department of Parks and Recreation.